AFL Round 7 - Saints vs. Giants
MATCH UP STATS
AFL Round 7 - Saints vs. Giants
Win-loss recordSt Kilda: 3-3Greater Western Sydney: 5-1
Last five resultsSt Kilda: L W W L WGreater Western Sydney: W W W W W
ST KILDA could hardly have timed their return to the Friday night spotlight any better.
They destroyed Hawthorn down in Launceston last weekend, smashing in 13 second-half goals to romp home by 75 points.
The win was all the more impressive because it ended the Hawks’ 19-match unbeaten run in Tasmania.
The Saints forwards cashed in, with Nick Riewoldt booting four goals while Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey bagged three apiece.
Also among the best were Jack Steven with 36 disposals, Koby Stevens, Jack Steele, Sebastian Ross and Maverick Weller.
Greater Western Sydney had a much tougher time in Canberra last Friday.
A frantic fourth quarter saw them eke out a two-point win over the Western Bulldogs and thus exact some small measure of revenge for last year’s preliminary final defeat.
It came at a cost, however, with Toby Greene copping a two-match suspension over a petulant strike on Dogs midfielder Caleb Daniel.
As the top Giant in the AFL’s official player rankings, his absence leaves a big hole in the forward third.
That will put pressure on the likes of Steve Johnson, whose recent form (or lack thereof) has sparked rumours of impending retirement.
However, GWS will enjoy a double boost with the return of co-captain Phil Davis and star on-baller Stephen Coniglio, who has yet to feature in AFL 2017 due to an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.
First goalscorer picks
Nick Riewoldt – +900 at Sportsbet
With so many in the St Kilda forward line standing tall last week, picking their top shot at first goal is no easy feat. But it was Riewoldt who stood out down in Tassie, and who leads the club’s goalkicking charts, and who remains one of the hardest players to mark in the competition.
Greene’s absence opens this market up considerably. It could also mean a bigger role for Smith inside forward 50. He might not have the runs on the board this year compared to big guns Jeremy Cameron and Jonathan Patton, but that price is hard to ignore.
Sebastian Ross 30+ possessions – +110 at Sportsbet
This guy is emerging as one of the most reliable young midfielders in the competition. Although averaging just under 29 touches per game in 2017, he has cracked the 30 mark several times – including in last week’s big win over Hawthorn.
Callan Ward 30+ possessions – +200 at Sportsbet
The incredible depth of the Giants midfield makes picking a top disposal-getter an extremely difficult proposition. They don’t have a standout in terms of raw numbers, but we like Ward – a man who loves the contest and can accumulate ball as well as any of the young guns.
Saints vs. Giants match tips
GWS Giants by 1-39 points – +125 at Sportsbet
The Saints cruised home last week while the Giants had to work hard against a determined Dogs side. Will that have an impact, and will Greene’s ban leave too big a hole to fill? It could be a tighter contest than most are predicting, but we expect GWS to get up by a couple of goals.
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