Full Week 2 AFL Finals Preview
September 2, 2021
The second week of AFL Finals are here and kick off tonight in Perth when Geelong face the GWS Giants. Whilst tomorrow night the Brisbane Lions play host to the Western Bulldogs in Brisbane.
Semi Final – Geelong vs GWS Giants
Optus Stadium – Friday 3rd September – 7.50pm AEST
To kick off this week’s AFL Finals action we have the Geelong Cats hosting the GWS Giants in Perth. It is the first time these two have met in a final but the Giants have dominated the Cats in recent years winning their last three encounters. The Cats are coming off a poor performance against Port Adelaide last weekend in the qualifying final whilst the Giants are on a high after beating their cross-town rivals by a point in the elimination final thriller down in Tasmania.
Geelong have made some selection statements with Luke Dalhaus and Sam Simpson both omitted, with O’Connor another out due to injury. The Cats have brought in tall forward Esava Ratugolea, Zach Tuohy and youngster Max Holmes. Whilst for the Giants they’ve been forced their hand losing Sam Reid and Tom Green to injury and their superstar Toby Greene to suspension after he was sent to the tribunal for making contact with umpire Matt Stevic last weekend. Bobby Hill, Connor Stone and Tanner Bruhn are their replacements.
These two played only last month with the Giants causing an almighty upset in Geelong. Toby Greene starred on the night booting a game high four goals but won’t feature this time around. The Giants got the jump, dominating the stunned Cats early on in possession, but the experienced Cats outfit came to play in the 2nd half with the home side bringing it back within nine points before the Giants steadied saluting in one of the upsets of the year.
Former GWS Giant Jeremy Cameron will take on his old side for the first time after being injured last time these two teams faced. Whilst the Giants were able to keep Tom Hawkins quiet earlier in the year, the young backline will have their hands full this week with Hawkins, Cameron and the incoming Esava Ratugolea to deal with. The Cats have had their own issues down back after the loss of Tom Stewart has rattled their generally consistent and calm back six.
The Cats go in as hot favourites once again against the Giants and if they were to lose this and go out in straight sets there could be huge ramifications for Geelong and the coach Chris Scott, after the club went out last year and brought in three senior players, essentially going all-in for the premiership flag. For the Giants it’s a realistically a free swing after finishing outside the eight last year and losing arguably their most important player in Jeremy Cameron, many experts tipped them to be finishing outside the top eight.
Final Verdict: I expect the Giants to put up a fight but I think the experienced Cats lineup will bounce back hard this week against a Toby Greeneless Giants outfit. Geelong by 29 points.
TopSport H2H Odds
- Geelong $1.37
- GWS Giants $3.20
Last Five Meetings
- Geelong 8.17.65 def by GWS Giants 13.6.84 @ GMHBA Stadium on 6th August 2021
- GWS Giants 17.3.105 def Geelong 11.7.73 @ GIANTS Stadium on 21st March 2020
- Geelong 11.9.75 def by GWS Giants 11.13.79 @ GMHBA Stadium on 13th April 2019
- Geelong 14.9.93 def GWS Giants 4.8.32 @ GMHBA Stadium on 4th May 2018
- Geelong 15.13.10 def GWS Giants 8.11.59 @ GMHBA Stadium on 26th August 2017
Semi Final – Brisbane vs Western Bulldogs
GABBA – Saturday 4th September – 7.20pm AEST
The Semi-Final action continues tomorrow night when the Brisbane Lions play host to the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba. Brisbane are coming off a disappointing loss to the flag favourites, Melbourne whilst the Bulldogs got back to their winning ways taking care of the Bombers by the tune of 49 points in Tasmania.
The hosts have made the two changes with Daniel McStay out with concussion whilst Jaxon Prior has been omitted. Jack Payne and youngstar Deven Robertson make their way into the side. Whilst the Dogs go in unchanged after their big win last weekend.
When these two teams faced earlier in the year at Mars Stadium it was the Bulldogs who took the chocolates keeping their undefeated record intact. It sent the Lions to a dangerous 1-3 record which they were able to recover from and land themselves the double chance.
The Lions go into this game with some major concerns that were exposed last week and the loss of Daniel McStay will really hurt going forward. Can their smalls get the job done? Or will it be up to Daniher who was kept goalless last week to drag the home side into a preliminary final. The Bulldogs have their own issues and whilst they took care of the young bombers outfit last week they’ll be facing a different class of opposition on their home deck on Saturday.
With both teams floating in and around the top 4 for the majority of the year the loser of this match will be incredibly disappointed to see their season end. Whilst the winner will dare to dream when they move deep into September to take on Port Adelaide next weekend with both the Dogs and Lions recording wins over the Power in 2021.
Final Verdict: Flip of the coin this one with the Western Bulldogs a quality outfit after being in the top four for a majority of the season. However, I’m sticking with the home side here who should be hard to beat in front of a sell-out crowd. Brisbane by 10 points.
TopSport H2H Odds
- Brisbane $1.62
- Western Bulldogs $2.36
Last Five Meetings
- Western Bulldogs 10.13.73 def Brisbane 8.6.54 @ Mars Stadium on 10th April 2021
- Brisbane 14.12.96 def Western Bulldogs 11.6.72 @ GABBA on 8th August 2020
- Brisbane 14.14.98 def Western Bulldogs 11.14.80 @ GABBA on 4th August 2019
- Western Bulldogs 13.14.92 def Brisbane 11.10.76 @ Mars Stadium on 11th May 2019
- Western Bulldogs 16.11.107 def Brisbane 14.19.103 @ Marvel Stadium on 12th May 2018
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