The Greater Western Sydney Giants will be hoping to channel their 2019 side and defeat Collingwood for a place in next weekend’s AFL Grand Final.
Both sides will do battle at a sold-out MCG on Friday night, four years after they last went toe-to-toe in a Preliminary Final.
Back in 2019, the Giants narrowly got the job done 56-52 but they had to do it without two of their best in Stephen Coniglio and Toby Greene.
Coniglio was out injured with a bung knee that afternoon, while Greene, who’s now the team’s skipper, was suspended.
On Friday night, both players will be fit and firing as they’ll look to cause a major upset against the Minor Premiers.
Speaking with the media in Bronte on Monday, Coniglio recalls sitting in a box with Greene during GWS’s clash with the Pies in 2019.
“I remember we were heavy underdogs against Collingwood and I remember watching the game in a box at the top of the stadium with the other players that weren’t playing,” Coniglio said.
“With about five minutes to go I said, ‘it’s done, we’re in the Granny’ and Toby said, ‘don’t say that’.
“So, we went into the lift and by the time we got down to the ground to wait for the last minute, it looked like we were going to lose.
“This time we’ll both be out there playing.”
Fortunately the Giants managed to hang on against Collingwood, qualifying for their first-ever Grand Final.
Coniglio said while not many punters are giving his side a chance to knock over Craig McRae’s side, he said belief and confidence is a big thing in footy.
“When you’re 3-7 like we were and to look where we are at now, in a Preliminary Final, it’s a big jump,” he said.
“We always believed that we could make it. I think we are poised to have a really big game on Friday night, and anything is possible… why not us?
“It’s been a motto that a lot of our supporters have been holding in the stands. That’s very much the feeling in the group at the moment.”
The Giants qualified for Friday’s game after upsetting Port Adelaide last Saturday 93-70 at Adelaide Oval.
Jesse Hogan booted four goals in the 23-point victory, while Greene and Coniglio kicked three and two goals respectively.
In the weekend’s other Prelim Final, Brisbane will battle it out against surprise packets Carlton on Saturday.
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 a decade.