GWS v Western Bulldogs | Saturday, September 24, 5.15pm (AEDT), Spotless Stadium, Sydney
The future starts now. This is almost certainly the beginning of the next great rivalry in the AFL.
These two sides have the best young squads in the game and are set to dominate the competition for the next five years or so.
As good as the Bulldogs have been in the last fortnight, GWS were just as good or better when they chewed up and spat out the Swans in the qualifying final a fortnight ago.
The Bulldogs exposed the aging and slow Hawks midfield and once in possession, they easily moved the ball through the Hawk’s defence or outflanked them.
The Giants’ midfield are a completely different proposition for the impressive young Bulldogs. GWS have the perfect mix of tough ball winners and speedy outside players to advance the ball.
Stephen Coniglio, Dylan Shiel and Callan Ward were too tough for the normally invincible Swans midfielders and the speed of Tom Scully and Josh Kelly finished them off.
Certainly Caleb Daniel and Marcus Bontempelli will provide a formidable obstacle for the Giants.
The trouble for the Bulldogs is they don’t bat as deep as GWS and will be in a battle for the entire match.
Another serious challenge will be for the Bulldogs’ defence as they combat the tall Giants forward line.
Jeremy Cameron was at his best as he finally started to lead up, take marks and convert from his set shots.
Jonathon Patton has been in great form and is the perfect foil for Cameron.
The only downside for the Giants is the suspension of Steve Johnson.
They’ll miss his physical presence but coach Leon Cameron has good possible alternatives, with the most like-for-like replacement being Rhys Palmer.
This will be a ferocious prelim final with the Giants having an edge in most departments including home field advantage.
GWS to keep rolling towards a premiership.
OFFER: Grab a $300 Unibet Bonus
GWS Giants at $1.45
Western Bulldogs at $2.80
Last time they met: Rd.9, 2016 – GWS 98 def Western Bulldogs 73
Tip: GWS Giants at $1.45
Line tip: GWS Giants -14.5
B: A.Tomlinson, P.Davis, N.Wilson
HB: H.Shaw, J.Patfull, R.Griffen
C: J.Hopper, S.Coniglio, T.Scully
HF: D.Shiel, J.Cameron, J.Patton
F: R.Palmer, R.Lobb, D.Smith
FOLL: S.Mumford, T.Greene, C.Ward
I/C: Z.Williams, L.Whitfield, J.Kelly, N.Haynes
EMG: W.Hoskin-Elliott, A.Kennedy, S.Reid
B: J.Johannisen, J.Hamling, M.Boyd
HB: S.Biggs, D.Morris, E.Wood
C: L.Hunter, M.Bontempelli, L.Picken
HF: J.Macrae, Z.Cordy, J.Stringer
F: T.Dickson, T.Boyd, C.Daniel
FOLL: J.Roughead, L.Dahlhaus, T.Liberatore
I/C: C.Smith, T.McLean, F.Roberts, J.Dunkley
EMG: T.Campbell, L.Webb, R.Smith