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NEAFL: Cross town rivalry heats up

Kate Solomoson -  April 21, 2017 12:26 PM

Brandon Jack is just one of the senior Swans to line up in Saturday's NEAFL curtain raiser.

Brandon Jack is just one of the senior Swans to line up in Saturday's NEAFL curtain raiser.


Sydney Swans v GIANTS
Saturday, April 22, 2017
SCG, 3.45pm

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

B: 51. Jarrod Osborne 21. Jack Maibaum 28. Nic Newman
HB: 22. Dean Towers 32. Michael Talia 38. Colin O’Riordan
C: 52. Luke Robertson 33. Brandon Jack 56. Cooper Lee
HF: 1. James Rose 47. Toby Pink 19. Shaun Edwards
F: 60. Liam Maze 46. Sam Murray 49. Will Gowers
Foll: 17. Darcy Cameron 45. Sam Fisher 50. Jake Brown
Inter: 36. Aliir Aliir 34. Jordan Dawson 13. Oliver Florent 11. Jeremy Laidler
Emer: 58. Hamish MacDonald 55. Harry Carr
In: 36. Aliir Aliir 34. Jordan Dawson 13. Oliver Florent 50. Jake Brown 51. Jarrod Osborne 28. Nic Newman 60. Liam Maze
Out: 7. Harry Cunningham 30. Tyrone Leonardis 43. Lewis Melican 53. Sam Barley 59. Joe Stapleton 50. Dylan Smith 51. Adam Kinasch

B: 42. Jake Stein 31. Jeremy Finlayson 53. James Peatling
HB: 36. Harry Perryman 39. Tim Mohr 54. Luke Cuthbert
C: 28. Zach Sproule 52. Tom Highmore 51. Nick Shipley
HF: 33. Lachlan Tiziani 30. Matt Flynn 55. Kieren Briggs
F: 48. Ben McGinness 47. Nathan Richards 49. Jack Powell
Foll: 26. Dawson Simpson 13. Isaac Cumming 24. Matt de Boer
Inter: 38. Daniel Lloyd 44. Jacob Conlan 45. Jake Gaynor 46. Dylan Addison 25. Reed Stevens
Emer: Nathan Coxall
In: 31. Jeremy Finlayson 44. Jacob Conlan 45. Jake Gaynor 25. Reed Stevens 47. Nathan Richards 49. Jack Powell 52. Tom Highmore 54. Luke Cuthbert 55. Kieren Briggs 46. Dylan Addison
Out: 44. Max Beaumont 45. Connor Owen-Auburn 46. Rhys Pollock 52. Christian Palombi 55. Riley Budd 49. Nathan Coxall 53. Bailey McParland 27. Harry Himmelberg 49. Nathan Coxall