Greater Western Sydney’s co-captain Phil Davis knows the Giants have an advantage in Canberra.Canberra’s UNSW Oval has become a fortress for Greater Western Sydney and co-captain Phil Davis is determined it stays that way.
The Giants have won seven AFL games straight at their second home ground, having not lost there since round 17, 2015.
Three of those seven wins have come by more than 80 points, with the last two premiers Richmond and Western Bulldogs among the victims of those routs.
Davis believes there’s something different about the ground that GWS are able to exploit.
They take on Fremantle on Saturday at the venue in a battle of teams with 2-1 records.
The Dockers are virtual strangers to Canberra. Their only appearance there was in 2002 when they lost to North Melbourne by one point.
Davis said the Giants felt comfortable taking on any opponent at the ground.
“We’ve obviously won a lot more games (overall) in the last few years but (other) teams find it hard to win here,” Davis said on Friday.
“I think it’s a slightly unique ground with the dimensions and how it plays with the wind so we feel comfortable here and always get great support.”
Leon Cameron’s Giants will take on Fremantle boosted by the returns of star small forward Toby Greene and veteran defender Ryan Griffen.
Former Bulldogs captain Griffen is playing his first game since round three last year after recovering from persistent ankle injuries.
Ruckman Dawson Simpson has been recalled for the mammoth task of facing Dockers big man Aaron Sandilands, with Rory Lobb missing through bone bruising.
The Giants’ midfield has also taken a hit, with All-Australian Josh Kelly out with groin soreness.
But Davis said the on-ball battle would be a highlight as Dylan Shiel, Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio went up against Nathan Fyfe and Lachie Neale.
“It will be a really big challenge with the midfield battle because we’ve got an all-star midfield and they’ve got an all-star midfield,” Davis said.
Fremantle are settled following their 28-point defeat of Gold Coast last Saturday, and have kept the same line-up.
Australian Associated Press