Where and When: Sunday, June 13 at 3.20 AEST, Blundstone Area
Last time they met: It’s been a while. The GIANTS last played the Roos back in round two of the 2020 season, the first game back after the three-month coronavirus shutdown. And it wasn’t a very good day, the GIANTS going down by 20 points at a crowd-less GIANTS Stadium having led by two goals midway through the third term. North forward Cameron Zurhaar was a constant threat – he kicked three of his side’s 12-goals – and while Matt de Boer held Ben Cunnington to one touch in the first half, the North onballer got busy late when de Boer switched to the damaging Shaun Higgins. Callan Ward returned from hiss 2019 ACL injury in the game, with Lachie Whitfield and Harry Perryman among the GIANTS’ better players.
Where to watch: https://www.afl.com.au/broadcast-guide-premiership
What it means for the GIANTS: The GIANTS’ loss to Brisbane before the bye saw the team relinquish the top eight spot it had only just got hold of. But it’s a spot that is very much still within reach. The team is set to play teams below it on the ladder – North, Carlton, Hawthorn and Gold Coast – in four of the next five weeks, and need to keep locking wins away start knocking out the teams around them on the ladder and give themselves a chance of playing finals heading into a tough final few rounds.
Where’s the opposition at: North are in last spot on the ladder. They’ve won just the one game for the season – beating Hawthorn back in round nine – but competed well against St Kilda and Collingwood in recent weeks and are never a club to take lightly. Forwards Nick Larkey and Zurhaar kicked two goals apiece in their last hit-out against the Saints, with midfielders Cunnington and Jy Simpkin giving them some toughness and class around the ball and Aaron Hall providing some good run. Defender Robbie Tarrant is in the mix to return to their side from injury, as is speedy forward Jaidyn Stephenson.
The number: 23. That’s the number Sam Reid wore in his first stint as a GIANT, before being delisted, working as a development coach, getting redrafted as a rookie and making his way back into the 2016 team. Reid – who played 10 games in four years as a Western Bulldog - joined the GIANTS as an uncontracted player ahead of the club's first season in 2012 and managed 14 games in two-injury prone years. He handed his guernsey number to the incoming Heath Shaw upon his "retirement," returning two years later in the No. 50. Reid is due to play game No. 100 against the Roos, a special milestone in one of the more persistent and determined AFL careers. Just six players in VFL/AFL history have waited longer to reach triple figures.
In the mix: The troops are on their way. Phil Davis (calf), Adam Kennedy (shoulder) and de Boer (hamstring) are ready to play some footy for the first time since round three, with Toby Greene on the cusp of returning from his shoulder injury after two weeks off too. Tom Hutchesson is ready to go again after battling hamstring and calf injuries this year, but draftee Conor Stone suffered a hamstring strain during a scrimmage session against Richmond’s VFL side last week and can’t be considered for a recall to the senior side. Harry Perryman, Brent Daniels, skipper Stephen Coniglio and Jesse Hogan are all within about 1-4 weeks of their return, with defender Sam Taylor due back another few weeks after that.