Western Bulldogs (18th) vs GWS Giants (8th) Friday 19 June 7.50pm @Marvel Stadium
A rivalry has developed between these sides ever since the Bulldogs beat the Giants in the 2016 preliminary final and with both sides coming off losses last round, expect to see some fireworks.
The Giants are coming off a disappointing loss after being outplayed by a resurgent Kangaroos side.
Many of the Giants’ star players were below their best last week but they rarely play two bad games in a row so you would expect them to be right up for this.
The Bulldogs were many people’s pick as premiership contenders before the season started but find themselves dead last after two heavy defeats.
They were blown off the park last week by a Saints side that showed more effort and intensity.
They now face a big test in the Giants, the same side that knocked them out of the finals last year, with a thumping 58-point victory.
The Giants were extremely physical that match and clearly came in with a game plan to target the Bulldogs’ best player and now captain, Marcus Bontempelli.
The Giants were relentless and star forward Toby Greene overstepped the mark on one occasion and was sent to the tribunal after his hands were caught around the eyes and face of Bontempelli.
Unfortunately for the Giants and also the viewers, Greene has been ruled out of this match with knee soreness, so we’ll miss any potential retribution the Bulldogs might have had in store for him.
The Bulldogs were embarrassed by that loss and, after a poor start to the season, this is the perfect chance for them to finally kick into gear.
Marcus Bontempelli vs Stephen Coniglio
The battle between the skippers will be pivotal to how these sides bounce back. It has been a less than ideal start for Bontempelli as captain so he would be desperate to get his side off the mark. The Giants came into this season with heavy expectations and another loss here would leave Coniglio and his side under pressure.
Tim English vs Sam Jacobs
Youth vs experience in the ruck for this one. Jacobs has played over 200 games but was well beaten by Todd Goldstein last week. English has only played 31 games but has been beaten both games this year. Jacobs has the strength advantage in the ruck contest while English should be able to use his superior athleticism around the ground.
Lachie Whitfield vs Jack Macrae
Both guys were below the lofty standards they have set for themselves so will be eager to make amends this week. The Giants love getting the ball into Whitfield’s hands as much as possible as he is one of the best kicks in the competition and can use both his left and right foot to damaging effect. Macrae finished second in the competition last year for disposals, averaging 33.4 per match but only managed 18 last week. The Bulldogs rely on him and Bontempelli in the midfield so if they don’t fire, they’ll find it mighty tough to win this one.
|FB:||Nick Haynes||Aidan Corr||Sam Taylor|
|Bailey Williams||Alex Keath||Caleb Daniel|
|HB:||Zac Williams||Phil Davis||Harry Perryman|
|Jason Johannisen||Zaine Cordy||Hayden Crozier|
|C:||Lachie Whitfield||Stephen Coniglio (C)||Josh Kelly|
|Ed Richards||Marcus Bontempelli (C)||Jack Macrae|
|HF:||Zac Langdon||Jeremy Cameron||Daniel Lloyd|
|Bailey Dale||Aaron Naughton||Toby McLean|
|FF:||Brent Daniels||Jeremy Finlayson||Harry Himmelberg|
|Mitch Wallis||Josh Bruce||Sam Lloyd|
|RR:||Sam Jacobs||Matt de Boer||Callan Ward|
|Tim English||Josh Dunkley||Bailey Smith|
|Int:||Jye Caldwell||Lachlan Ash||Jacob Hopper|
|Int:||Matthew Suckling||Tom Liberatore||Laitham Vandameer|
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