Hungry Giants go full steam ahead for Sydney derby

Joanna Guelas |

GWS coach Adam Kingsley says his players are not complacent as they prepare to face the Swans.
GWS coach Adam Kingsley says his players are not complacent as they prepare to face the Swans.

Greater Western Sydney won’t let their 54-point monstering of Brisbane lull them into any sense of security for their derby against the Swans.

The Giants may have kicked nine unanswered goals to make light work of last year’s grand finalists Brisbane in their most recent outing, but as far as coach Adam Kingsley is concerned, his side won’t be caught resting on their laurels against their cross-town rivals.

Both sides take 6-1 records into Saturday’s clash at the SCG, and if the Giants fall short of going full-throttle, John Longmire’s Swans could hand them their second loss of the season.

On paper, the harbour city’s two teams are hard to separate.

The Swans boast the highest percentage in the competition, but the Giants have scored more goals (112-107).

In defence, Sydney have laid more tackles (437-395), but GWS have pulled off more intercepts (505-495).

The clearance battle between the two sides is tighter (245-244 total clearances), with Sydney taking out stoppages (169-160), while GWS do best in the centre (84-76).

It’s no wonder Kingsley takes no comfort from their previous victories.

“It’s always hard to predict. I wouldn’t stand here and say our clearance work has been elite by any stretch of the imagination,” he said on Friday.

“The fact is it’s a cross-town derby. Anything can happen.

“You’ve just got to maximise your chances when you get them, irrespective of whether it’s around the stoppage clearance work, or whether it’s offence or defence.

“You’ve just got to make your moments count.”

The third-placed Giants will be close to full-strength with the inclusions of Sam Taylor (concussion) and Toby Greene (suspension).

Toby Greene.
Toby Greene returns from suspension to help the Giants take on cross-town rivals Sydney. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Leek Aleer and Xavier O’Halloran were the unlucky pair to make way.

Kingsley also decided to go without Stephen Coniglio, opting instead to give the midfield bull an extra week to recover from a small medial collateral ligament tear.

“He’s really close, touch-and-go. Probably wasn’t 100 per cent comfortable with his knee, so we decided to give him an extra week,” the coach said.

“He should be fit and available for our following game (against Essendon).”

The Swans have made just one change, omitting Braeden Campbell. Veteran defender Dane Rampe returns to the side after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Luke Parker was expected to return after  racking up 34 disposals in the VFL, but with the Swans flying high there was simply no room for the five-time Brett Kirk Medallist.

Parker has been out since February after breaking his arm in a pre-season game against the Giants.