NEAFL Sydney Derby to raise AFL curtain
MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney v GWS GIANTS
NEAFL Round One
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Sydney Swans v GWS GIANTS at the SCG, 3.45pm
*This match will be streamed live on NEAFL TV
*Live Champion Data statistics available on the Official NEAFL App
This is it! Round 1 offers the irresistible fixture of the two cross-town Sydney rivals, the Sydney Swans and GWS GIANTS as they play the curtain-raiser to the AFL’s Sydney derby. The Swans and the GIANTS will be wanting to get a win for the first game of the season and get season 2018 on the right track.
The Swans are coming off a disappointing Grand Final loss at the end of last season and the GIANTS will be looking to put last season behind them, after they finished bottom of the ladder with only two wins. There is an expectation that both teams will play ferociously to ensure they secure a victory.
The Swans have had the rub of the green of late, comfortably winning the past three fixtures between the two sides and will want that to continue against their rivals, including wins against the GIANTS during the pre-season. GWS will want to make a return to finals in 2018 and what better way to make a statement than beat the grand finalists of the past two years at their home ground.
*Full teams will be announced Friday morning.
Round 16, 2017: Sydney Swans 16.16 (112)d GWS GIANTS 8.5 (53)
Round 11, 2017: Sydney Swans 28.17 (185) d GWS GIANTS 2.2 (14)
Round 4, 2017: Sydney Swans 13.13 (91) d GWS GIANTS 8.7 (55)
1. The Sydney Swans have a handful of players that are itching to be elevated into the senior side. Development Coach Tadhg Kennelly said that players who have been at the club for a few years and haven’t been given their debut will give it everything they have this season. Colin O’Riordan and Jack Maibaum are two players who will try to make big strides in 2018.
2. It will be interesting to see what role Ryan Griffen will play in this game and in the season as a whole. The veteran returned to football in a practice match on Saturday against the Swans after a persistent ankle injury disrupted his 2017. Griffen thoroughly impressed GIANTS NEAFL coach Adam Schneider last weekend. As an experienced campaigner, Griffen may be the key to unlocking the potential of the GIANTS NEAFL team – as long as his body holds up.
3. After the delisting of their captain Brandon Jack at the end of last season, the Swans will be looking for new players to step up in to that role. Jack was a fantastic leader for the club, leading them to last year’s Grand Final. It will be intriguing to see which player takes the reigns as the new Swans NEAFL captain. Captaincy can often be the making of a player yet also a heavy burden and there is no shortage of players who may be selected each week.
Sam Wicks from the Sydney Swans is definitely the player to look out for. Wicks is an impressive attacking midfielder who at just 18-years old, played his first NEAFL game last year in Round 7 and went on to consolidate his place in the side. As a foundation member of the Swans Academy, Wicks boasts great speed and endurance and is also hailed as an elite decision-maker. At No. 11 in our 2018 NEAFL players to watch, it’s hard not to expect Wicks to improve exponentially this year.
STATS THAT MATTER
The Sydney Swans are a fast-finishing team. In 2017, they ranked first for most points scored in the final quarter throughout the year with 643 points. The Swans’ incredible endurance ensures that they are able to run over teams in the last quarter and kick a lot of goals. The fourth quarter is where the Swans scored the majority of their points behind the third quarter (760). Conversely, the GWS GIANTS rank second last for scores in the final quarter at 299 points across the season. In their most recent pre-season fixture, the Swans finished strongly in the last quarter to win by over five goals. If the GIANTS want to win on Saturday, they must buck the trend and ensure that the Swans don’t finish with a flourish.
Sydney Swans by 32 points.