Where and when: Giants Stadium, Saturday September 7, 3.20pm AEST
What it means for GWS: The Giants were embarrassed by the Dogs when they met at the same venue in round 22, but they know that result has no bearing on this week’s final. With some big names back, they’ll be keen to show the visitors just how good their best is and end the Bullies’ season.
What it means for the Bulldogs: An outstanding run of form after the mid-season bye wasn’t enough to snatch a home final, but the Dogs are in ominous touch. Get past the Giants and the momentum continues.
The stat: 10.9 (69): that’s how much the Dogs scored against the Giants in the second half in round 22, while the home side could manage just 0.5. GWS gave up 63 inside 50s that day, lost the contested possession count (150-130) and tackles (80-58).
The match-up: Josh Kelly v Lachie Hunter
The two left-footers are both ball-magnets on the wing for their respective sides. Kelly probably causes more damage by foot and can also move into the midfield when needed, but Hunter is an accumulator who never stops running.
It’s a big week for: Matt de Boer
The tagger will go to Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli like he did in round 22, and his role will have a significant say in the result if he can reduce the effectiveness of the star midfielder. He’s had two games back from a serious shoulder injury, so de Boer will be tough to shake.
Big call: Young guns Josh Dunkley and Tim Taranto will go head to head in the midfield and combine for 70-plus possessions and 20-plus tackles.
Mottsy’s Tip: GWS by 30 points
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