Lachie Ash celebrates during the round 23 match between Greater Western Sydney and Essendon at Giants Stadium, August 19, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

ESSENDON forward Jake Stringer insists his side's 126-point loss to Greater Western Sydney last season won't come back to haunt them when the two sides go head-to-head at Marvel Stadium.

The Bombers had to win against the Giants in round 23 last year to keep their finals hopes alive.

Instead, Brad Scott's men were forced to kiss their spot in September goodbye thanks in no small part to a nine-goal special from Jesse Hogan.

But as far as Stringer is concerned, that clash is dead and buried and holds no nightmares for the sixth-placed Bombers as they host high-flying GWS on Saturday.

Jake Stringer during the round seven match between Essendon and Collingwood at the MCG, April 25, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Last year was a long time ago," Stringer said on Friday.

"We all had a big pre-season. We're playing a different style of footy to what we were last year.

"We had a lot of injuries (at that stage last season), a lot of blokes carrying in that game, so it will be a great test to see how far we've come in the space of six months."

MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list

Essendon will be without new recruit Xavier Duursma against the Giants, after the winger injured his quad at training during the week.

The former Port Adelaide star has impressed since moving interstate, boasting an average of five marks, 18 disposals and three tackles per game this season.


Versatile defender-forward Nick Hind comes in to fill Duursma's spot.

"He (Duursma) has been so important to us in the first eight weeks. To lose him is unfortunate, but it creates an opportunity for another young player to come in and play their role," Stringer said.

"As bad as it is, that's the industry we're in. Injuries happen week to week, so we just look to get that spot filled by someone."

Defender Ben McKay will most likely be handed the monster task of containing Hogan on Saturday.


The prolific Giants goalscorer is ranked second for majors this season, with 24 to his name so far.

But third-placed GWS will be without their next-highest scorer Callum Brown, who was handed a three-week ban for a high bump on Sydney's Tom McCartin last time out.

Young gun Conor Stone has been called up for his first appearance at AFL level in almost 400 days as Brown's replacement. 

Stone kicked three goals with 16 disposals in the most-recent round of the VFL.