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The Giants will be there to keep their eight best prospects – but it won’t be an easy task against in-form Geelong, who are the AFL’s most “complete” team, according to Nick Riewoldt.

The Giants (8-10-1, 95.1%) are still in the game for eighth – and a win over Geelong would boost their hopes considerably, especially with games against Richmond and Carlton to come.

But the Cats (15-4, 132.6%) have quietly moved to second place in the standings after 10 wins in their last 11 games and a stingy defense, conceding just 47.2 points in their last five games. . But to finish in the top two at home and away at the end of the season, they can’t afford a mistake.

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After announcing seven huge changes to their selected team, the Giants suffered another massive injury blow just over two hours before the first rebound, with star midfielder Josh Kelly being ruled out with a tight quad. Matt Buntine replaced Kelly in the 22, while Nick Shipley was appointed as a medical replacement.

The Giants had already made seven changes with injured Phil Davis (concussion), Jacob Hopper (concussion), Tom Green (hamstrings), Daniel Lloyd (ankle) and Sam Reid (ankle) all making way for the Jesse-led duo. Hogan and Shane Mumford.

“They’re probably the weakest team in the Giants this year,” said Brownlow medalist Gerard Healy. AFL Nation pre-game.

Geelong didn’t make any late changes, with Quinton Narkle named the sub.

The Cats got the perfect – and most unexpected – start, with defenseman Jake Kolodjashnij scoring his first AFL goal after 127 games in the opening 30 seconds of the game.

But that was all the Giants from there for the rest of the quarter.

Star forward Toby Greene produced stunning individual play to throw his team’s first major, before Buntine, Harry Himmelberg and Callum Brown trotted four to give the Giants a surprise 16-point lead in quarter-time.

Greene, however, could come under scrutiny by the AFL’s game reviewer after his elbow came into close contact with Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield as he attempted to defend himself.

Greene elbows Danger down his throat! | 00:34

The Giants’ breathtaking form continued after the quarter as Zach Sproule netted a nice setter goal.

Geelong found some rhythm, with fellow defenseman Mark Blicavs breaking a five-goal streak for the Giants before Tom Hawkins added another.

But Tim Taranto and Toby Greene responded as the Giants knocked out Geelong again, heading towards halftime with a 19-point lead.

“It’s a GWS side that were a bit cheeky, precocious and a bit talkative and they served it to the unprepared Cats,” Melbourne champion Garry Lyon told Fox Footy.

To make matters worse for the Cats, Gary Rohan appeared to be struggling with a hamstring problem late in the second quarter.

Greene continued the pain for Geelong after half-time, scoring his second goal. And when the unlikely goal kicker Brown added his second major, Greene kicked his fourth and Taranto kicked his second, the Giants were ahead with 44 points.

“Are we looking at one of the 2021 overflows?” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw asked.

“It came out of nowhere.”

To make matters worse for the Cats, Luke Dalhahus and Mark Blicavs also took hits during the quarter.

“It’s been a dirty night on the injury front for the Cats,” Channel 7 commentator Daisy Pearce said.

The only bitter note for the Giants during the third term was another hamstring to a devastated Brent Daniels, who was replaced by deputy Nick Shipley.

A late goal from Esava Ratugolea gave the Cats hope in three quarters, by a margin reduced to 31 points.

The match will start at 19:50 (AEST) from the GMHBA stadium.

No fans will be allowed into the room due to the statewide lockdown of Victoria due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

Watch it live on Fox Footy Channel 504 or stream it on Kayo Sports from 7pm.

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