(L-R): Gryan Miers and Max Holmes look dejected after Geelong's loss to Gold Coast, Jake Riccardi leaves the field after Greater Western Sydney's loss to Essendon. Pictures: AFL Photos

IT WAS at a similar point of last season where Greater Western Sydney faced a daunting road trip to GMHBA Stadium and used it to spark the true beginning of the Adam Kingsley era.

The upset victory helped a then-struggling Giants team flip a disappointing 4-8 record into 11 wins from their next 13 matches and catapulted Kingsley's side into a remarkable preliminary final berth.

This year, a clash between the Cats and the Giants at the same venue will pit two teams hoping for a similar bounce. Chris Scott's side comes into it off the back of three consecutive defeats, Kingsley's off four losses from its past five.

It also represents a battle between a Geelong side that has lost its greatest defensive aspects in recent weeks, against a Greater Western Sydney outfit that has lost its greatest offensive aspects in recent weeks.

The Cats, during an impressive 7-0 start to the season, were a terrific defensive team that opposition sides struggled to counter and found difficult to score against. But they've lost that over the last three matches.

Geelong is conceding nearly 40 points more per game over the last three matches, compared with its first seven fixtures. Last Thursday night, in shipping 26.8 (164) to Gold Coast, the Cats conceded their highest score in 721 games dating back to 1994.

Bailey Humphrey snaps the ball during Gold Coast's clash against Geelong in round 10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Champion Data notes Scott's side is now being scored heavily against from turnover, conceding in excess of five goals per game more from turnover over the last three weeks compared to the opening seven matches.

Last week, the 102 points Gold Coast scored from turnover was the second-most Geelong has conceded under Scott. The 61 points conceded from clearance was also the second-most under Scott, as were the 71 inside 50s conceded.

Champion Data stats also reveal that the Cats' pressure rating is down over the last three matches, while opponents' scoring rate – both in terms of goals, and total points scored per inside 50 – are also up.

Defensive woes for Cats


Rd 1-7

Rd 8-10

Pts Against

73.1 pts

113.0 pts

Pts Against from Turnover

32.3 pts

63.7 pts

Oppo Score per i50 %



Oppo Goal per i50 %



Pressure Rating



The Giants, though, are facing similar problems in reverse. Having started the campaign with a 5-0 record, only to drop four of their past five, Kingsley's side has lost its most significant offensive weapons.

Over the last three games, the Giants are scoring an average of around eight goals less than what they were managing through their first seven fixtures. Meanwhile, their weekend score of 6.7 (43) was the lowest mustered under Kingsley.

Toby Greene walks off the field with his teammates after Greater Western Sydney's loss to the Western Bulldogs at Engie Stadium in R10, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Where the Cats are struggling to defend turnover, the Giants are struggling to capitalise from turnover. Champion Data notes their scores from this particular source have dipped by 37 points per game over their last three matches.

The Giants are missing some of their prime ball movers – notably Lachie Ash (calf) and Isaac Cumming (hamstring) from half-back, as well as Josh Kelly (calf) through the midfield – and it's showing.

Champion Data stats reveal that the team's ability to convert back-half chains into inside 50s has dipped 15 per cent over the last three matches, from 35 per cent to just 20 per cent.

On the occasions when they do get the ball forward, the Giants are then not making the most of their opportunities. Again, Champion Data notes their scores per entry have dropped from 48 per cent to 40 per cent over the last three matches.

Offensive woes for Giants


Rd 0-7

Rd 8-10

Pts For

107.3 pts

58.0 pts

Pts from Turnover

65.0 pts

28.0 pts

Back Half to i50 %



Scores per i50 %



It means both sides are in a strange predicament heading into the round 11 bout. From being among the raging premiership favourites a month ago, to having questions lingering around their flag chances.

Which team will do as the Giants did last season, and use this fixture to bounce back?