The GIANTS return home to Sydney for a fiery clash with the Bulldogs at ENGIE Stadium (formerly GIANTS Stadium) on Saturday as we debut our special 2024 Indigenous jumper to celebrate Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Match Details 

GIANTS v Western Bulldogs
Saturday, May 18 at 4:35pm
ENGIE Stadium | Wangal Country

What it Means for the GIANTS 

The GIANTS are remaining upbeat as they return home this weekend looking to rebound from their first back-to-back defeats of the season following losses to the Swans and the Bombers in the past fortnight.

Back at ENGIE Stadium for the first time in nine weeks, the GIANTS will welcome the Bulldogs to town as the two sides with a fiery history battle it out for four points.

The GIANTS will be looking to re-discover their early season form which saw Adam Kingsley’s side set a club record with five-straight wins to open the season.

Still sitting in fifth spot on the AFL table at 6-3 heading into the round 10 clash, the GIANTS can find themselves back inside the top four with victory over the ‘Dogs on Saturday.

As well as being the 150th AFL game for GIANTS star forward Jesse Hogan, Saturday’s game will hold extra meaning as the club debuts its 2024 Indigenous jumper as it celebrates Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Meanwhile, in a double blow for the GIANTS, they’ll be without star vice-captain Josh Kelly and dashing half-back Lachie Ash for the next six weeks through calf injuries.

The Opposition 

The Western Bulldogs sit 11th on the AFL table at 4-5 on the season but will enter Saturday’s clash full of confidence after their 91-point mauling of the Tigers at the MCG last week.

By far their biggest win of the season, the Bulldogs answered recent critics with a ruthless display as they dominated the Tigers from siren to siren to register a 19.19 (133) to 6.6 (42) win.

The ‘Dogs decision to play three tall key forwards proved fruitful in the win, with Aaron Naughton (four goals), Sam Darcy (four goals) and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (one goal) combining for nine goals – while Demon recruit James Harmes kicked four majors of his own to go along with 27 touches in his best outing as a Bulldog.

Several of the ‘Dogs key ball-winners also had big games last round, with Adam Treloar (41 disposals), Marcus Bontempelli (32), Bailey Dale (30) and Ed Richards (34) all finding plenty of the footy ahead of this week’s match-up with the GIANTS’ engine room.

Recent History

While simmering down slightly in recent years, the GIANTS and the ‘Dogs have held one of the AFL’s fiercest rivalries over the past decade. 

While the GIANTS will enter this week’s match-up as the most recent winner between the sides, the rivalry hasn’t gone their way over the past few years, with the ‘Dogs having won five of the last six clashes dating back to 2020. 

Despite the poor recent record, the GIANTS were able to keep the Dogs on a leash when the sides last met in round 20 last season as Toby Greene led the club to a remarkable five-point comeback win.

Down by 35 points early in the third term, Greene kicked four goals in a third-quarter blitz before kicking his fifth in the final term as the GIANTS stormed home to pull off a thrilling 11.12 (78) to 10.13 (73) win at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. 

Key Match-Up:  A GIANT Defence v A Ferocious Attack 

Saturday’s showdown will see one of the competition’s best defensive units up against a red-hot forward line that proved too hot to handle for the Tigers last week. 

Featuring three key forwards in Aaron Naughton, Sam Darcy and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, the ability of the GIANTS’ backline to nullify the tall trio will go a long way to a win.

With Naughton and Darcy kicking four goals each last week - and Ugle-Hagan chiming in with 1.2 – the Bulldogs’ attack will be brimming with confidence ahead of the battle with the GIANTS.

Led by All Australian Sam Taylor and emerging star Jack Buckley, the GIANTS will be looking to the likes of Connor Idun and Harry Himmelberg to help stop the Doggies’ tall timber in what looms as an exciting match-up at ENGIE Stadium on Saturday. 

GIANTS Player to Watch  

Former skipper and current vice-captain Stephen Coniglio returned from injury last week where his line-breaking speed and experience was a welcome addition to the GIANTS midfield. 

Missing three games with a minor knee injury suffered in round five, Coniglio wasted no time in proving his worth against Essendon last week as he finished with 24 touches, eight score involvements and four tackles in a strong return performance.

With the cobwebs blown out, Coniglio looks primed for a big game against the ‘Dogs on Saturday as the GIANTS look to return to the winner’s circle following their first consecutive losses of the season. 

In the Mix 

Several GIANTS continue to perform well in the VFL to push their case for AFL selection against the Bulldogs on Saturday. 

Tough midfielder Xavier O’Halloran was the GIANTS’ best in the VFL last week, while Toby McMullin, Harry Rowston, Jacob Wehr and Josh Fahey also had strong games. 

Speedy midfielder James Peatling will also come into contention after being the travelling emergency with the AFL side last week, while untried key forward Max Gruzewski - also an emergency last week- continues to perform well in the VFL.

Team Selection

The GIANTS will name their team to take on the Bulldogs at 6:20pm on Thursday at 

Rehab Report 

Get a full injury update ahead of Saturday’s match here.

Where to Watch 

Saturday’s match will be shown live and free on 7mate from 4:30pm in Sydney and the ACT, as well as nationally on Fox Footy and Kayo from 4:30pm. 

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