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The GWS Giants have prevailed in their elimination final match up against the Western Bulldogs, defeating their disappointing Victorian rivals by 58 points.
GWS Giants 16.17.113
Western Bulldogs 8.6.54
It’s a cut-throat, Saturday afternoon elimination final, as the GWS Giants host the Western Bulldogs at Giants Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 3:20pm AEST.
It’s the second elimination final, and for one of these teams their premiership dreams will come to a close in around three hours time. For the other, a semi-final clash with either Brisbane or Richmond (depending on who wins tonight) awaits.
The sixth-placed Giants and seventh-placed Bulldogs both won their Round 23 clashes and have both had the pre-finals bye to prepare for this afternoon’s clash, but it’s integral to highlight the home and away season’s penultimate clash.
In that game, played at this same venue in a similar time slot, the Bulldogs embarrassed the Giants with a powerful second half which saw the bound-for-finals Giants lose their second lacklustre effort in a row, after falling to the Hawks a week prior.
The Dogs last loss was a Gabba defeat to Brisbane, having won eight of their eleven games post-bye – they’re in scintillating form, and given they’ve won a premiership from seventh position before, the Giants are right to be wary.
This is the second final these two teams have played in their histories – the first, and also played at this ground, was 2016’s preliminary final which the Bulldogs snuck a superb win to make it through to the Grand Final, and was also the first of three consecutive finals series the Giants have lost a final.
The Giants, though, will be buoyed by the returns of several key players. Their official ins for this final include Brett Deledio, Jacob Hopper, Nick Haynes and Toby Greene, with Adam Tomlinson, Ian Hill, Isaac Cumming and Lachlan Keeffe all omitted from the Giants outfit.
Two influential players in Shane Mumford and Coleman Medallist Jeremy Cameron – neither of whom played in the Round 22 loss against today’s opposition – are also confirmed starters for the elimination final.
The Dogs are unchanged for the massive clash.
The Dogs have a majority of the public backing, and are the tipster favourites headed into this afternoon’s clash. And I can see why they’re favourites: they’re in brilliant form, they’ve won on this ground – both three weeks ago and in a cut throat final – before, and they’re no doubt going to have the backing of a large travelling crowd.
But the Giants aren’t going to be easy beats. They’ve got a strong team – certainly stronger than the team that capitulated against the Dogs a few week back. I’m going to tip the Giants. Potentially foolish, but the Dogs dream will come to an end here. GWS to advance through to a semi-final.
GWS by 10 points
When: 3:20pm AEST
Where: Giants Stadium, Sydney
TV: Seven Network, Fox Footy, Kayo
Betting: GWS Giants $1.95, Western Bulldogs $1.87
B Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Jacob Hopper
HB Aidan Corr, Nick Haynes, Lachie Whitfield
C Zac Williams, Tim Taranto, Sam Taylor
HF Jeremy Finlayson, Harry Himmelberg, Brent Daniels
F Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Matt de Boer
FOL Shane Mumford, Harry Perryman, Josh Kelly
I/C Brett Deledio, Daniel Lloyd, Adam Kennedy, Sam J. Reid
B Matthew Suckling, Lewis Young, Hayden Crozier
HB Jason Johannisen, Zaine Cordy, Easton Wood
C Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli, Ed Richards
HF Bailey Dale, Josh Schache, Sam Lloyd
F Bailey Smith, Aaron Naughton, Toby McLean
FOL Tim English, Josh Dunkley, Jack Macrae
I/C Rhylee West, Taylor Duryea, Patrick Lipinski, Will Hayes