BY KATE SOLOMONSON

 

NEAFL ROUND 4

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sydney Swans v GIANTS at the SCG, 3.45pm

*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV (youtube.com/northeastafl)
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the NEAFL App.

SUMMARY

A big battle this week as Sydney Swans and the GIANTS go head-to-head in a rematch of last year’s epic NEAFL Grand Final. A bye for the Swans last week will have them refreshed, as the GIANTS are coming off a 16-point loss to Canberra at Alan Ray Oval. Although both sides will look significantly different than they last time they met, there is plenty on the line with the Swans and GIANTS winning one match each so far this season. With Sydney set to field 16 AFL-listed players and the GIANTS just 11, it will be a battle of the young guns as the club’s academy prospects will look to make their mark and play a big role in getting their side over the line.

Check out the full teams here.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

Grand Final, 2016: GIANTS 11.16 (82) d Sydney Swans 11.12 (78) BISP
Round 17, 2016: GIANTS 10.8 (68) d Sydney Swans 4.19 (43) SCG
Round 11, 2016 GIANTS 16.13 (109) d Sydney Swans 16.12 (108) Spotless Stadium

TALKING POINTS

1. A tough loss to only second-season team Canberra Demons saw the GIANTS also lose key backline player Harry Himmelberg, however NEAFL Development Award winner Jeremy Finlayson is set to make a return to the side after his suspension. Finlayson’s left foot boot and quick feet could be a problem for the Swan’s midfielders as he is known to chase down players with an open space. Watch out James Rose and Brandon Jack!

2. This will be a classic eight-point game between the two best sides of last season. They’ve only won one match each to sit in fifth and eighth position on the ladder. The GIANTS could re-enter the top six with victory, and the Swans could drop out if they lose. One thing is for certain, the recent history between the two sides means anything could happen at the SCG on Saturday.

3. Plenty of AFL-listed players will be keen to bounce back to form in the NEAFL this week. Aliir Aliir, Nic Newman and prized draftee Oliver Florent were omitted from Sydney’s AFL line-up this week, while Finlayson and Daniel Lloyd are among those looking to impress for the GIANTS.

ROOKIE WATCH

Sydney Academy prospect Jake Brown will play his first match of the NEAFL season this week after featuring in the AFL Academy Series. A former AFL Sydney Rising Star nominee and Under-18 Allies representative last year, Brown was unlucky to miss out on AFL Draft selection, but enters 2017 as one of the northern states’ brightest young talents.

STATS THAT MATTER

Sydney and the GIANTS are perfectly poised at a win-loss record of 11-11 coming into this week. But their history tells a see-sawing tale of NSW’s biggest rivalry. For the first three years of the NEAFL, Sydney won the win-loss record 8-2. For the next three, the GIANTS have won 9-3. Who will draw first blood in 2017?

PREDICTION

Sydney Swans by 8 points.

 

 

 

 

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