For Greater Western Sydney, facing the Sydney Swans on their home turf will be like trying to dispatch a stubborn older brother, Giants defender Heath Shaw says.
Except for Shaw, his real-life big brother will actually be there.
Swans defender Rhyce Shaw will line up against the Giants at the SCG on Saturday night, again pitting the former Collingwood siblings against each other as both AFL cross-town rivals seek to extend their unbeaten records this season.
“I think the families now mark it down on the calendar,” Rhyce said at the SCG on Friday.
“It’s always good playing against Heath. We’ve shared a bedroom, we’ve shared everything over our lives and to share the same footy field, hopefully in front of 50,000 (people), is going to be pretty special.”
A maturing Giants outfit head into the encounter having won their opening two games for the first time since joining the competition in 2012.
Riding on the confidence of their nine unanswered goals in a stunning third quarter against Melbourne last weekend, they’ll be hell-bent on using the momentum to upstage the formidably in-form Swans.
“It’s sort of like playing your older brother,” Heath said of the clash.
“Sydney are the cross-town rivals, we’re a young group coming through and you always want to beat your older brother.”
The Giants have lost both meetings at the SCG to date.
“To win away, which we haven’t done a lot of, would be huge. And against the arch-rivals,” the 29-year-old Heath Shaw said.
“After tomorrow only one team is going to be undefeated so we want to put a big step forward.”
Swans coach John Longmire said he fully expected some on-field lip between the Shaw brothers.
“There’s certainly no shortage of a bit of talk in the Shaw clan, so I’d imagine there’s still some more talk to be had this week,” Longmire said.
“They’re not the shrinking violet type.”
Harry Cunningham will take Adam Goodes’ place, after the dual Brownlow medallist opted to play in the reserves for the first time in his illustrious 17-season AFL career, rather than be a substitute as he was last weekend.
Ben McGlynn will also replace late withdrawal Nick Smith, who has a tight abductor muscle.
Greater Western Sydney have made just one change, promoting ruckman Andrew Phillips in place of injured forward Adam Tomlinson.
Phillips will work with Shane Mumford in the ruck, taking on Mike Pyke and Kurt Tippett.