Where and when: Optus Stadium, Sunday August 23, 6.10pm AEST
Last time they met: It’s been a while. The GIANTS’ last match against West Coast was back in round two, 2019, when they went down by 52 points. The GIANTS put up a fight early but the Eagles took control of the game in the second quarter and didn’t let up. Jeremy MCGovern was tough to pass all game and Luke Shuey’s 11 possessions in the second term got the Eagles going, while Oscar Allen and Jack Darling combined to kick seven goals. West Coast took 20 contested marks, while the GIANTS managed just eight. Jeremy Cameron was the GIANTS’ leading goalkicker – he booted three – while Lachie Whitfield gave the team plenty of drive.
TV and online: https://www.afl.com.au/broadcast-guide-premiership
What it means for the GIANTS: Last week’s loss to Sydney was a big low, coming after some inconsistent yet gritty performances in the few weeks leading up. Not much went right against the Swans at all, and not many players were anywhere near their best. The loss tipped the team out of the eight, ending a three-win run, but the good news is there are six games left to play, with the team well and truly still in the hunt for a finals spot. It’s in the GIANTS’ hands.
Where’s the opposition at? The Eagles made a slightly bumpy start to the season but hit their straps quickly and have not dropped a game since round four, when Port Adelaide beat them. Their 32-point win over Hawthorn on Sunday left them in fourth spot on the ladder. Nic Naitanui dominated the hit-outs to advantage, Andrew Gaff won a stack of the ball, Tom Barrass and Jeremy McGovern won the ball back down back and Josh Kennedy, Liam Ryan and Jack Darling combined to kick eight goals.
The number: 5. Plenty of GIANTS have earned their chance in the last couple of years, with Xavier O’Halloran and Tom Hutchesson the latest to work their way into the team. It means there are just five GIANTS yet to get a taste of AFL-level footy: ruckmen Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs, rookie Jack Buckley, Irish recruit Callum Brown and 2019 draftee Jake Riccardi.
In the mix: Toby Greene and Phil Davis are both a big chance to resume after overcoming hamstring and knee problems, while Daniel Lloyd should also be ready to play again following finger surgery three weeks ago. But Hutchesson is set for some more time on the sidelines, after straining a hamstring late in his debut game against the Swans. Matt de Boer (hamstring), Sam Reid (calf), Isaac Cumming (hamstring) and Sam Taylor are not quite ready, but the likes of Buckley, Jackson Hately, Bobby Hill and Tom Green could tempt the coaches should they look to switch things up after last week’s loss. Key forward Riccardi is also in some good scratch match form, while Adam Kennedy has a couple of games under his belt now and would inject some speed into the team if called up.