It wasn’t that long ago that a match-up between the GWS Giants and Sydney Swans would have an obvious outcome. But these days – with the Giants a force to be reckoned with in the AFL – things have changed dramatically.
This Saturday night at Spotless Stadium the two top eight teams will do battle in the 13th edition of the famous crosstown rivalry.
Speaking at a joint media conference this week, both coaches were thrilled at just how big the derby has become.
“From our perspective, it was only going to build over time,” Swans coach John Longmire said.
Giants coach Leon Cameron agreed, saying while it’s taken a while to build, his side finally has what it takes to challenge the Swans.
“It is real now, it’s probably taken five years for us to become more competitive and there has been layers added to it each year with us stepping up to the mark and playing a more consistent brand [of footy],” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere and hopefully we get a sell-out crowd. It will be a great spectacle on Saturday night and hopefully we can match it by playing a good brand of footy.”
Sydney has won eight of the past 10 games since the Round 5 derby to be in the top eight for the first time this season, while the Giants are second on the ladder but have won six, lost two and amazingly drawn their past two matches.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.