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Wednesday, May 19, 2021
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Green keen to renew Giants and Bulldogs rivalry in Canberra

GWS Giants midfielder Tom Green says he’s looking forward to the challenge of coming home to take on the undefeated Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval on Friday night, 23 April.

Many were writing the Giants off after an 0-3 start to the season, but back-to-back upset wins over the Magpies and Swans has reignited their season.

They now face the top of the ladder Bulldogs in what will be their biggest challenge of the season so far, and Green says his side is ready to cause another boilover.

“This weekend we look forward to a challenge in the Western Bulldogs who are going really well at the minute,” said Green.

“We’ve got great confidence that at our second home in Canberra we’ll be able to knock the Bulldogs off.”

Heading home

After losing his first AFL game in Canberra against the Demons at Manuka Oval in Round 3, former Marist College student Green is looking forward to having another crack at his home ground.

“I’m super excited,” he said.

“I got to do it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was amazing running out in front of the home crowd on the home deck.

“The turnout we get is always fantastic so anytime we can play there I’m really excited for that opportunity.

“It makes it that little bit sweeter that I’m a Canberra boy.”

The rivalry

While the Giants have a healthy rivalry with their cross-town opponents the Swans, their fiercest clashes have been against the Dogs.

There has been extra resentment between the sides ever since their epic Preliminary Final battle in 2016 which has seen the tension boil over in recent meetings.

Green couldn’t hide the look of excitement on his face when asked about the rivalry, however he said they had to be careful not to overstep the mark.

“We’ve built a really strong rivalry over the last 5 years and it’s a game everyone really looks forward to.

“They’re a great challenge and a really good team at the moment so we’d love to get in there and knock them off.”

“I know a fair bit is made of the Giants and Bulldogs rivalry and you saw that game last year and there’s a bit in the contest.

“It will be my first time playing the Bulldogs so I’m really looking forward to it.

“Last year a bit of ill-discipline probably hurt us early in the game, so that will be a real focus.

“You want to fly the flag and look after your teammates, but you can’t be doing stuff that’s going to detract from us winning the game.”

The midfield battle

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 21: Tom Green of the Giants celebrates a goal during the round one AFL match between the GWS Giants and the St Kilda Saints at GIANTS Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
After being dropped in Round 2, Tom Green has been in outstanding form playing as an inside midfielder for the Giants. Getty

Green will be coming up against a star-studded midfield featuring the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore and Adam Treloar and said that’s where the Giants need to be at their best to win.

“The Bulldogs have a really strong midfield and they’ve got a lot of guys in really good form,” Green said.

“For us as a team in starts at the centre bounce and at the coal face taking care of business inside. “

“When we get that going, we can beat anyone in the comp.”

Green was a surprising omission from the Giants side after round one but has since come back into the side and starred over the past two weeks.

The big-bodied midfielder says playing in his preferred position has given him more confidence at the level.

“As I get more opportunity in there in my preferred position as an inside mid, I feel more comfortable at the level and I’m able to contribute more,” he said.

“It was nice on the weekend to contribute in a good win and play my role.”

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