Giant injury blow: Speedy forward sidelined

GREATER Western Sydney's finals hopes have taken a blow with news that gun forward Yvonne Bonner will miss the rest of the home-and-away season with an ankle injury.

Bonner rolled her ankle in the first quarter of last week's loss to Brisbane and while she managed to continue playing, subsequent scans showed enough damage to keep her sidelined for an extended period. 

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The Giants remain hopeful that Bonner can play a part in the finals should her team make it.

Yvonne Bonner celebrates a goal against the Cats last year. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The mobile goalkicker was a revelation in her debut season last year thanks to her foot skills and speed, and the Giants had expected her to make a bigger impact in her second year of footy.

Coach Alan McConnell said Bonner's injury is disappointing for GWS, which sits just outside the top three of Conference A on percentage ahead of a clash with Richmond on Saturday, but he's confident his team will respond.

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"It's a bit of a sad story really, Yvonne went down late in the first quarter and remarkably played on, but as a result of that injury she's going to miss the rest of the season," he said on Wednesday.

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"(But when) one soldier (goes) down, another gets an opportunity, which is the way we need to look at it."

The positive to come from the loss of Bonner is that McConnell has named Sarah Halvorsen to make her AFLW debut against the Tigers. 

The 24-year-old has a rugby and soccer background and is part of the Giants' VFLW program.

Giant Sarah Halvorsen during an AFLW training session. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

"Sarah is a great story, she's probably tried to make it onto an AFLW list for three or four years," McConnell said.

"She's a young woman who has a fabulous job as an engineer in Newcastle and she commutes to Sydney every time we train.

"She's made an amazing commitment to become a semi-professional footballer.

"She's tall, athletic, quick, and comes from a touch rugby background.

"I'm not sure where she'll finish up (playing) ultimately, but I think it'll be ahead of the ball.

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"We're really excited about what she'll bring on the weekend and going forward.

"She's trained the house down over the last five weeks and really deserves her opportunity."

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Saturday's clash against Richmond in Wagga Wagga is vital to the Giants' finals chances.

They can jump into third spot with a win if Adelaide loses to North Melbourne earlier in the afternoon, but a loss could see them drop a game and hefty percentage behind both teams if the Crows win.

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