Now or never as Giants have their best chance at Manuka
The Giants will be back at Manuka Oval this weekend, looking for their first AFL win. Photo: Ryan Pierse
History could be made at Manuka Oval this weekend, with the GWS Giants having their best chance yet of collecting AFL premiership points.
Their opponents - a Gold Coast Suns outfit likely to be without superstar Gary Ablett.
Even a GWS team without Setanta O'hAilpin (knee) and veteran ruckman Dean Brogan (suspected broken arm) has failed to put the punters off.
ACTTAB has the Giants at $2.95, after the side last week blew out to more than $30 against Carlton.
For the first time, the new club is rated a genuine contender, largely through impressive performances from the clubs' young guns.
While O'hAilpin came to terms with his season-ending knee injury on Sunday, his housemate Toby Greene finished the best game of his young career with 28 disposals, nine marks and four inside 50s. But Greene hasn't let his housemate's misfortune sour his expectations of this weekend's match.
''We'll be going there to win and anything less will be very disappointing,'' Greene told The Canberra Times. ''We're improving every game, and last week we thought we were a chance. The last couple of weeks we've been in the game at half-time, so [to lose] was pretty disappointing.''
The 18-year-old's 28 possessions against Carlton brought his average to 26.6 after five games in the AFL.
It is an average similar to some of the elite of the game, such as Chris Judd (23.1) and Gary Ablett (23.4).
But he will have to wait a while to test his skills against either of those Brownlow Medal winners. Carlton's Judd was rested on the weekend, and there is an injury cloud over Ablett, who has missed the last two games for the Suns.
''It's somewhat disappointing, you want to know how good you are against the best players [and] see how good you have to be, but it helps our chances of winning,'' Greene said. ''Obviously we'd like to play against them, but if that's how it goes we can't do much about it.''
The loss of O'hAilpin, after kicking two goals on his debut for the Giants, is a big blow to the young club.
''It was obviously really shattering about Setanta,'' Greene said of the mood at the club.
''We live together, and he was really upset [Sunday] night but I think he's had a lot of support.
''He's a very likable guy around the club, so all the boys are supporting him as much as possible.''