Suns bracing for fiery Giants in AFL

Anna Harrington |

Gold Coast are bracing for a fiery Greater Western Sydney as the Giants attempt to arrest their winless start to the AFL season.

GWS are coming off a poor loss to Richmond and dropped Matt Flynn, Jarrod Brander and Jake Riccardi, after losing Phil Davis and Jacob Hopper to serious injuries.

Suns coach Stuart Dew said his charges needed to draw on the endeavour and spirit they showed in their gutsy 13-point loss to reigning premiers Melbourne.

“We’ve got to maintain our intensity,” Dew said.

“We all thought that game on the weekend was high pressure, high speed and high physicality, so we expect that from the Giants as well. 

“That’s their number one mode of play, contested style,so that’s how we expect them to come out.

“Obviously Leon’s challenged them and said that’s not how they want to play so we expect them to come out with their best.

“It’s going to be a good challenge for us. We just want to keep that intensity in the game and play with speed and physicality.”

Lachie Weller returns from COVID-19 protocols for Saturday’s clash at Giants Stadium, replacing Sam Flanders, but Izak Rankine was unable to prove his fitness to return from a hamstring injury.

“We just made a call early … if he couldn’t train fully, which we were a little bit 50-50 on and we wanted to go with a bit of certainty,” Dew said.

“So we’ll start to work back from the next week, which is disappointing, hasn’t come along like we would have liked.

“But really, (we’re) guided by the injury itself.”

The Giants called on injury-prone ruckman Braydon Preuss to make his club debut while Jake Stein, Lachlan Keeffe, James Peatling and last week’s medi-sub Matt de Boer were all recalled.