Where and when: GMHBA Stadium, Saturday April 13, 1.45pm AEST
Last time they met: Kardinia Park, round seven, 2018: Geelong 14.9 (93) defeated Greater Western Sydney 4.8 (32).
The Cats held the visitors to just two goals to the final break, en route to a comfortable victory. Tom Hawkins kicked four goals, while first-year midfielder Tim Kelly (30 touches) continued a brilliant start to his career. The wasteful Giants played into the Cats’ hands as Tom Stewart and Mark Blicavs dominated in defence.
What it means for Geelong: Taking another contender’s scalp. A 3-0 start to the season looks strong, but extending their unbeaten record ahead of games against Hawthorn and West Coast would provide a platform for a genuine flag tilt.
What it means for GWS: Proving themselves on the road. Despite varying away success last season, the Giants have now lost their last three on the road against contenders Melbourne, Collingwood and West Coast. Yet to win in Geelong from four attempts.
How Geelong wins: The Cats’ blistering start to the season has come as the No.2 ranked contested ball side in the competition. If they continue that against the 14th-ranked Giants, it will go a long way towards moving to 4-0.
How GWS wins: By moving the ball quick. Last week against Richmond, Jeremy Cameron and Jeremy Finlayson combined for 12 majors off the back of fluent ball movement. If the Giants get stuck going slow and long against the Cats’ defence they’ll be in for a tough night at the office.
The stat: The cohesion of the Giants’ attack of Jeremy Cameron, Harry Himmelberg and Jeremy Finlayson has them ranked No.3 in the competition for marks inside 50.
The match-up: Mark Blicavs v Jeremy Cameron
Cameron’s bag of seven last week saw him rocket up the Schick AFL Ratings board to now be the eighth-ranked key forward in the competition. Cameron, who has kicked just five goals in three matches in Geelong, comes up against the No.4-ranked key defender in the game in what shapes as a pivotal battle.
It’s a big week for: Shane Mumford
Returns to his old stamping ground with the Giants’ midfield under his control. In his first game since 2017 Mumford split the honours with Tiger Toby Nankervis last week – despite all of his 14 disposals coming as handballs. This week presents a different challenge against the more agile Rhys Stanley.
Big call: Esava Ratugolea to break free of his early season shackles with a dominant display in attack – five contested marks and three goals.
Prediction: Geelong by 20 points
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