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Match preview: Greater Western Sydney v Geelong

Adam Curley  March 30, 2016 11:33 AM

Pick a Winner: GWS v Geel Duck and Browny preview the Giants v Cats

The Giants let one slip against Melbourne in round one and will need to bounce back against the Patrick Dangerfield-inspired Cats. Tough midfielder Stephen Coniglio should return to the side to try and put the clamp on Danger, but GWS will need to keep an eye on Joel Selwood, Josh Caddy and Mitch Duncan as well. The Giants were wasteful and selfish at times against the Dees, and need to give more support to their defenders, who were brilliantly led by co-captain Phil Davis. The likes of Devon Smith, Lachie Whitfield and Dylan Shiel will be vital if GWS are to provide the run and carry to get over the Cats.

WHERE AND WHEN: Manuka Oval, Sunday, 1.10pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the broadcast guide

R17, 2015, Geelong 9.15 (69) d Greater Western Sydney 6.6 (42) at Manuka Oval
R18, 2014, Geelong 13.16 (94) d Greater Western Sydney 12.15 (87) at Spotless Stadium
R11, 2013, Geelong 24.13 (157) d Greater Western Sydney 15.8 (98) at Spotless Stadium
R10, 2012, Geelong 19.12 (126) d Greater Western Sydney 9.7 (61) at Simonds Stadium

Steve Johnson will be on the spotlight when his new club takes on his old. Picture: AFL Media

1. Tom Hawkins booted five goals and Steven Motlop starred with 31 disposals and two goals in the Cats' win over the Giants in 2015.

2. The Giants play their first home game in Canberra in 2016 following two wins from three games in 2015; Geelong has played three times at Manuka Oval for one win.

3. Inaccuracy continues to be an issue for the Giants; in round one they kicked 10.18, including 4.10 in the second half. In 2015 they kicked only four more goals than behinds.

4. Giant Steve Johnson played 253 games and kicked 452 goals for Geelong across 14 seasons, and won three premierships with the Cats.

5. Geelong’s ruck combination proved one of the differences in round one, when Zac Smith, Rhys Stanley and Mark Blicavs combined for 49 hit-outs, 42 disposals, three goals and eight clearances.

6. Patrick Dangerfield (2) and Joel Selwood (7) are both ranked inside the top 10 in the Schick AFL Player Ratings with GWS co-captain, and Selwood's likely opponent Callan Ward, their highest ranked player at number 21.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Steve Johnson
One of Geelong's all-time greats and a favourite son will have some nerves when he faces his former club after his forced departure at the end of last year. Johnson was typically hot and cold last week against Melbourne and would love to kick a bag to get the Giants' season going.

PREDICTION: Greater Western Sydney by three points.

Sunday Funday