Injury-hit Gold Coast face a mammoth task against a Greater Western Sydney team Suns coach Rodney Eade believes are strong contenders to reach this year’s AFL grand final.
The Suns will have 11 senior players unavailable for the visit by the high-flying Giants with defender Nick Malceski (knee) and midfielder Jesse Lonergan (shoulder) the latest Gold Coast players to be sidelined.
In contrast the Giants head north sitting second on the ladder after winning six of their past seven matches, with a maiden finals campaign an inevitability.
“They’re just about the complete package,” Eade said of the Giants.
“Possibly tall defenders, if they got some injuries to key spots, might hurt them, but they’ve got coverage in every other area of the ground.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re there on the last day.”
Clashes between the two expansion clubs inevitably draws comparison between where both teams are sitting.
Eade however says the rivalry between the teams is largely a construction of the media and neither side is that worried about the other.
“The way the teams were set up it’s completely different, there were different rules,” he said.
“They had access to more first round draft picks and it’s great for them.
“People compare the two, which is fine, we’re both start-up teams, but I’m thrilled they’re going well.
“I’ve got a lot of time for them and the way they’ve gone about it.”