The Giants might be out to maintain their top-eight hopes alive — nevertheless it received’t be a straightforward activity towards the in-form Geelong, which is the AFL’s most “full” staff, based on Nick Riewoldt.
The Giants (8-10-1, 95.1%) are nonetheless proper within the combine for eighth spot — and a win over Geelong would considerably enhance their hopes, particularly with video games towards Richmond and Carlton developing.
However the Cats (15-4, 132.6%) have quietly moved as much as second on the ladder off the again of 10 wins from their previous 11 video games and a stingy defence, conceding simply 47.2 factors from their previous 5 matches. However to complete high two at residence and away season’s finish, they’ll’t afford a slip-up.
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QUARTER-BY-QUARTER MATCH REPORT
After saying a whopping seven adjustments to their chosen staff, the Giants have been dealt one other large damage blow simply over two hours earlier than the primary bounce, with star midfielder Josh Kelly dominated out with a good quad. Matt Buntine changed Kelly within the 22, whereas Nick Shipley was named medical sub.
The Giants had already made seven adjustments with the injured Phil Davis (concussion), Jacob Hopper (concussion), Tom Inexperienced (hamstring), Daniel Lloyd (ankle) and Sam Reid (ankle) all making manner together with managed duo Jesse Hogan and Shane Mumford.
“That is in all probability the weakest aspect the Giants have had in for the 12 months,” Brownlow Medallist Gerard Healy instructed AFL Nation pre-game.
Geelong made no late adjustments, with Quinton Narkle named the sub.
The Cats acquired the proper — and most surprising — begin, with defender Jake Kolodjashnij kicking his first AFL purpose after 127 video games inside the first 30 seconds of the match.
But it surely was all of the Giants from there for the remainder of the quarter.
Star ahead Toby Greene produced a surprising particular person play to kick his aspect’s first main, earlier than Buntine, Harry Himmelberg and Callum Brown made it 4 on the trot to present the Giants a shock 16-point quarter-time lead.
Greene, nonetheless, would possibly come underneath overview from the AFL Match Overview Officer after his elbow made excessive contact with Cats famous person Patrick Dangerfield whereas trying a fend-off.
The Giants’ gorgeous type continued after quarter-time as Zach Sproule nailed a beautiful set-shot purpose.
Geelong discovered some rhythm, with one other defender in Mark Blicavs breaking a five-goal Giants run earlier than Tom Hawkins added one other.
However Tim Taranto and Toby Greene responded because the Giants once more surprised Geelong, heading into half-time with a 19-point lead.
“It is a GWS aspect that’s been slightly bit cheeky, precocious and slightly bit lippy they usually’ve served it as much as the Cats who weren’t ready for it,” Melbourne champion Garry Lyon instructed Fox Footy.
To make issues worse for the Cats, Gary Rohan gave the impression to be fighting a hamstring subject late within the second quarter.
Greene continued the ache for Geelong after half-time, booting his second purpose. And when unlikely goalkicker Brown added his second main, Greene kicked his fourth and Taranto booted his second, the Giants have been in entrance by 38 factors.
“Are we watching one of many boilovers of 2021?” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw requested.
“This has come out of nowhere.”
To make issues worse for the Cats, Luke Dalhahus and Mark Blicavs additionally copped knocks through the quarter.
“It’s been a grimy night time on the damage entrance for the Cats,” Channel 7 commentator Daisy Pearce mentioned.
The one bitter word for the Giants within the third time period was one other hamstring to a devastated Brent Daniels, who was changed by medical sub Nick Shipley.
A late purpose to Esava Ratugolea gave the Cats some hope at three quarter-time, with the margin lowered to 31 factors.
And so they continued to chip away at that margin on the fourth quarter to arrange a grandstand end.
Jack Henry floated ahead to kick his second purpose, earlier than Zach Tuohy and Ratugolea added extra objectives to scale back the margin to as little as 9 factors.
However first-round Giants draftee Tannher Bruhn saved his steadiness at full-forward and kicked an essential purpose to present the Giants some respiration area, earlier than Himmelberg snapped one other to seal a well-known, courageous win.
The match will get underway at 7.50pm (AEST) from GMHBA Stadium.
No followers might be permitted into the venue as a result of Victoria’s statewide lockdown as a result of a current spike in COVID-19 circumstances.
Watch it reside on Fox Footy Channel 504 or stream it on Kayo Sports activities from 7pm.
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