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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Giants round 2 preview: Hopping into the restart

GWS Giants vs North Melbourne Kangaroos, Sunday 14 June 1.05pm AEST, Giants Stadium

After 85 long days the Giants will return to action against the Kangaroos at their home ground with a few lucky fans in attendance.

The NSW government approved a submission by the Giants last week to allow 350 patrons, including members, in function areas at Giants Stadium starting from this weekend.

The last time we saw the Giants play they looked in terrific order, notching up a 32-point win against the Geelong Cats in round 1.

It’s hard to know how their form will hold up from that match given the large break between games, but the Giants will take comfort knowing they turned up ready to go in March.

Harry Perryman and Toby Greene were the stars that night, kicking 4 goals apiece, while Stephen Coniglio was superb in his first game as captain.

Former skipper Callan Ward has been named on an extended bench as he returns from an ACL injury suffered in April last year, while zippy Zac Williams also returns after missing round 1.

The Giants major injury concern is Tim Taranto, who is still recovering from shoulder reconstruction surgery while Adam Kennedy is out injured as well.

Key matchups

Jeremy Cameron vs Robbie Tarrant

After winning the Coleman medal last year Cameron showed he’s still got it in round 1, booting three goals against the Cats. He comes up against one of the most underrated defenders in the competition in Tarrant for what should be a cracking contest. Tarrant got the better of Cameron when these sides met last year, holding him to just 9 disposals and 1 goal.

Jeremy Cameron and Robbie Tarrant will go toe-to-toe again on Sunday afternoon. Getty

Phil Davis vs Ben Brown

The man who runs with an extremely straight back, Davis, will have his work cut out for him coming against Brown. Brown was second behind Cameron in the Coleman last year and has been one of the shining lights for the Kangaroos over their recent rebuild. The issue for Brown will be just how much supply he gets as North come up against a formidable Giants midfield.

Stephen Coniglio vs Ben Cunnington

They won’t play one-on-one all game but they’re both the leaders of their midfields. Coniglio assumed the captaincy over the off-season after signing a new 7-year deal to stay at the Giants. He didn’t miss a beat in his first game as captain, but his job is made a lot easier by the other stars around him. The Kangaroos rely far heavier on Cunnington with so many young midfielders finding their way. He’s another criminally underrated player and the Giants will need to be tight on him at stoppages as that’s where he does his best work.

The Giants have stars all over the park but especially in their midfield, which is chock full of talent such as Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield and Jacob Hopper. While the Kangaroos are a tough footy side and will make the Giants work hard, their overwhelming class should be enough to get them over the line.

Full teams

FB:Nick HaynesAidan CorrSam Taylor
Jamie MacmillanRobbie TarrantLuke McDonald
HB:Isaac CummingPhil DavisZac Williams
Jasper PittardJosh WalkerShaun Atley
C:Harry PerrymanStephen Coniglio ©Lachie Whitfield
Trent DumontBen CunningtonJared Polec
HF:Josh KellyJeremy CameronToby Greene
Tarryn ThomasBen BrownCurtis Taylor
FF:Brent DanielsJeremy FinlaysonHarry Himmelberg
Aaraon HallJack Ziebell ©Cameron Zurhaar
RR:Sam JacobsJacob HopperMatt de Boer
Todd GoldsteinShaun HigginsJy Simpkin
Int:Heath ShawCallan WardDaniel Lloyd
Jye Caldwell
Int:Jed AndersonBailey ScottMason Wood
Kyron Hayden

Click here for other match details.

Find the full AFL round 2 preview here.

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