There's a feeling of deja vu about the under-pressure GIANTS' trip to Geelong this weekend.

While the expectations and ladder position for the GIANTS might be different 12 months on, it was a visit to GMHBA Stadium almost a year to the day that kickstarted its remarkable run to the preliminary final.

The GIANTS were 3-7 when they accounted for the Cats in Toby Greene's 200th game last year and then went onto to win 11 of their next 14 games including two finals.

Having lost four of their past five games and taken a surprising slide down the ladder, GIANTS coach Adam Kingsley is confident the clash in Geelong will be the circuit breaker his team desperately needs.

"It felt like this was the game last year where we looked how we want to look on the field and so the challenge is for us to replicate that and then step it up again," he said.

"We've had a good week of work, clearly we need to, we're not playing the brand that we'd like to at the moment.

"We've got to move the ball a bit better than what we have as an overriding principle. We've been shut down in that part of our game far too easily. That's partly us, partly the opposition."

"We've taken some pieces out of last year's game that we really liked and will try and implement them again and see how we go. It's a really important game for both teams and I'm sure the way the game is played will reflect that," the GIANTS coach added.


A desperate defensively play led by Geelong native Connor Idun, who is a strong chance to take on the unenviable task of trying to quell Jeremy Cameron, was a feature of the GIANTS' seven-point win in round 11 last year.

The manic forward pressure and strong contest work that was a hallmark of their resurgence in the back half of 2023 was also on show and Kingsley admits his team needs to extract that once more.

"I don't know if it's necessarily missing, it's just not a feature of our game at the moment. I think we see it in patches, I think it's there waiting to come out. We're just not quite bringing it like we did in the back end of last year. I think that's a mindset thing, we need to hunt the opposition like they're hunting us," he said.

The need to share the responsibility up forward is also an agenda item worth watching at the GIANTS at the moment.

In last week's loss to the Western Bulldogs, their six goals came exclusively from Jesse Hogan and Toby Greene (three each).

It's natural for the equal Coleman Medal leader in Hogan to be such a strong target considering his form, but the coach is desperate for his side to become more unpredictable.

"We need to spread the load. I felt like it was something we were doing in the early part of the season quite well. In this recent patch we haven't done that as well as we'd like, so we've addressed that not just in terms of only going to Jesse but positioning our players so that we have multiple options," Kingsley said.

There may be a change made in attack to enforce that, with Aaron Cadman and Jake Riccardi both under pressure to keep their spots having kicked just three goals between them in the last three weeks.

Developing tall forward Max Gruzewski is in line for a debut at some stage soon.

"He's been strong in the VFL, Max. He's putting his hand up, he's competing really well," Kingsley said.

"Do we trust with what we've gone even though it hasn't been humming like it was in the first part of the season, or do we make a change? We've got both options available to us."

Leek Aleer is likely to come in for the injured Jack Buckley while James Peatling, who had a superb showing in the VFL last week, is also in the mix for a recall as the Giants look for a better contest around the ball.