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Match preview: Greater Western Sydney v Fremantle

Matt de Boer’s pesky tagging skills as expected to be tested against former teammate Nat Fyfe

Where and when: UNSW Canberra Oval, Saturday April 20, 1.45pm AEST

Last time they met: UNSW Canberra Oval, round four, 2018: GWS 11.16 (82) defeated Fremantle 7.9 (51)

The Dockers got the start they wanted and led at the first change, but the Giants kicked 10 goals to four after quarter-time to win a scrappy affair in Canberra. Fallen co-captain Callan Ward grabbed the three Brownlow votes for his 34 possessions, while Nick Haynes dominated across half-back with 15 marks and 29 touches.

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What it means for GWS: After last week’s outstanding win at Geelong, a first for the club, the home side must maintain their momentum by beating the Dockers. If they’re really flag contenders, they’ll win big.

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What it means for Fremantle: The wasteful Dockers had their chances against West Coast last week and a similar effort will see them head back to Perth with the same result. At 2-2 Fremantle must take a big scalp.

How GWS wins: Even without the injured Ward the Giants midfield is stacked with talent and runs too deep for the Dockers to stop. Jeremy Cameron and Jeremy Finlayson are in a rich vein of form and they’ll get plenty of opportunities.

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How Fremantle wins: He’s had an inconsistent year so far, but if Michael Walters can break free his impact on the game will be immense. Time to throw him into the midfield and let the skilful left-footer have an influence.

Nat Fyfe is expected back to face a Giants outfit in great form, chief among them Lachie Whitfield. Picture: AFL Photos

The stat: The Dockers had a 33.3 per cent conversion rate against the Eagles last week and had 1.9 on the scoreboard at half-time, which makes it extremely tough to win games. They must clean that up to get reward for effort.

The match-up: Shane Mumford v Rory Lobb

The master and his former apprentice will lock horns for the first time since Lobb walked out on the Giants last year to head home to Perth. Lobb – ranked 131st in the Schick AFL Player Ratings – hasn’t coped well against physical ruckman in the past so it will be a massive challenge, but he has the athleticism to hurt Mumford (323rd) around the ground and forward.

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It’s a big week for: Matt de Boer

The former Docker learnt his tagging craft at Fremantle and is likely to get another job this week. The returning Nat Fyfe will attract de Boer’s attention in Canberra and the Giant will know the captain’s game well after playing on him in match simulation at training for years.

Big call: In blistering form already, tough midfielder Jacob Hopper will elevate his game even more with Ward gone for the year and register 40 possessions in a game for the first time in his career.

Prediction: GWS by 46 points

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS