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Missing stars and no love lost: Geelong Cats vs GWS Giants AFL finals prediction

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Roar Rookie
31st August, 2021
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Jeremy Cameron up against his former team sets up for a very exciting contest, even if it is disappointing that both teams’ best players won’t be playing.

For what it’s worth, Toby Greene should get suspended for bumping against the umpire. I feel sorry for him in that he had a great season and was the biggest reason why GWS made the finals, but he brought it on himself and he’s let the team down.

I should probably direct my feelings of empathy to someone in Tom Stewart’s position, who’s had just as big an impact on his team but won’t be playing because of injury.

Last time they met
GWS played Geelong off the park with a lot of players absent, although Greene kicked four goals.

The Giants had success moving the ball quickly through the middle of the ground and getting the ball out over the back. Port Adelaide had great success with that method in the qualifying final, although Geelong were without Cameron for that game.

Toby Greene

Toby Greene (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Where will the game be won?
It comes down to how well GWS can restrain Geelong’s forward line, as was evident by how the Giants repelled the Swans’ entries inside 50m – Sydney ended up having 19 more inside 50s but still couldn’t get over the line.

Hawkins, Cameron and Gary Rohan need to lift for the Cats compared to the performance against Port Adelaide.

It’s a big game for: Lachie Whitfield and Jeremy Cameron
Whitfield was very good in the recent meeting against Geelong, with a lot of GWS’s quick ball-movement starting with Whitfield lacing out the forwards. With Isaac Cumming unlikely to play, more is left down to Whitfield to be the rebounder and start his side’s counter attacks.

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Cameron has the x-factor. If he gets enough clear looks at it, he has the capability to kick a bag and take the game away.

Key match-up: Tom Hawkins vs Sam Taylor
Taylor played one of the best defensive games of the year on Tom Hawkins in Round 21, keeping him to one goal and repelling everything with 17 intercept possessions.

On Saturday he was doing a good job on Lance Franklin, continuing to rebound Sydney’s attacks. Franklin went further upfield, which left Isaac Heeney deep forward who almost won the game for Sydney. Hawkins may do the same and allow Cameron to stay deep forward or vice versa – either way, it will be a crucial match up.

Key match-ups: Rhys Stanley vs Shane Mumford
Mumford was very good against Sydney, throwing his weight around as he always does.

Geelong have not settled on a ruckman since Brad Ottens retired in 2011, but Stanley is the man at the moment. His strength should make Mumford push forward at every opportunity.

Mumford should be looking to impose himself at the centre bounces and out-muscle Stanley at stoppages around the ground. GWS’s midfielders get a lift from Mumford”s brutality.

Prediction: Geelong by 26 points

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