|Brownlow Medal||3 Josh Kelly (GWS)||2 Max Gawn (MELB)||1 Callan Ward (GWS)|
A return to the early-season form that saw the Giants installed as early-season premiership favourites has seen them easily account for Melbourne at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday. Kicking with the wind in the first quarter, GWS gave up the first three goals of the match to the Demons but then turned on a scintillating 20 minutes of football, kicking eight goals to nil to set up a match-winning lead. Melbourne was competitive for much of the remainder of the match but the damage was done, the Giants cruising to a 35-point win.
Despite starting the match kicking into the Canberra breeze, the Demons got off to a great start, with Max Gawn marking and kicking truly within a minute of the opening bounce. GWS missed a couple of opportunities after that, with Josh Kelly and Callan Ward each kicking a behind, and when Alex Neal-Bullen and Dom Tyson both found the goals, Melbourne found itself 16 points ahead after eight minutes.
But when Stephen Coniglio snapped a great goal from the boundary four minutes later, it sparked the Giants into action. The Demons did not trouble the scoreboard for the rest of the term, while, GWS played the sort of football that could see it make it all the way to the Grand Final. They added another seven goals before the quarter-time siren - two each going young star Josh Kelly and old star Steve Johnson - and the quarter-time siren when it sounded saw the Giants already ahead by six goals.
The shell-shocked Demons worked themselves back into the contest early in the second quarter, but while they stemmed the flow of GWS goals, it was not until Tom McDonald marked and converted at the seven-minute mark that they got one of their own. Amazingly, that was the only goal until time on. A free kick to Ward saw the Giants get their first of the term at the 20-minute mark, and when Shane Mumford followed up with another four minutes later, the margin was out to 43 points. A late major to Cam Pedersen cut it back to 36 at the long break, but GWS was well in control at the half.
Early third-quarter goals to Devon Smith and Kelly virtually put the result beyond doubt, the Giants ahead by 49 points 10 minutes into the term. The Demons pulled a couple back with Jack Watts and Neal-Bullen kicking two in two minutes but, as had happened in the first quarter, they failed to score in the 20 minutes before the siren. GWS could have set up a huge lead after that, but kicked four behinds in a row, before Smith kicked a late goal to see the Giants ahead by 47 at the last turn.
The last quarter was one for formalities only, with result well beyond doubt. A early highlight of the term was a goal to Brett Deledio. The ex-Tiger had made the switch to GWS in the off-season, but persistent injuries prevented him from debuting until Saturday. Deledio's goal turned out to be the Giants only one of the last quarter, but the Demons only managed three of their own and, although the first two of those came in the first six minutes, there was never any thought of a comeback, GWS cruising to victory.
Josh Kelly continued his magnificent form for GWS, collecting 27 possessions and laying nine tackles, while Max Gawn was a powerhouse for the Demons, with 52 hitouts and 19 disposals.
While the win entrenched GWS in second place, for Melbourne the loss saw it tumble out of the eight to 10th place, and the Demons' fate is now out of their hands. They will play St Kilda (11th), Brisbane (18th) and Collingwood (12th) in the final three matches. All three are winnable but three wins will not necessarily guarantee a return to the top eight. The Giants have three challenging games to come: the Bulldogs at Docklands, West Coast at home and Geelong at Kardinia Park. A loss in any of those could see them give up a top-two spot. Losses in all three, unlikely as that is, could see them miss the top four and the double chance.
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly 3; Johnson, Smith 2; Coniglio, Scully, Himmelberg, Shiel, Ward, Mumford, Deledio
Melbourne: Melksham, Neal-Bullen 2; Gawn, Tyson, T. McDonald, Pedersen, Watts, Maynard
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Ward, Coniglio, Scully, Shiel, Mumford, Williams
Melbourne: Gawn, Lewis, Oliver, Hibberd, Vince
BEST - THE AGE
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Coniglio, Mumford, Ward, Scully, Shiel
Melbourne: Gawn, Lewis, Oliver, Hibberd, Vince
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
UMPIRES: Chamberlain, Williamson, Ryan
TELEVISION BROADCAST: Fox Footy
|Greater Western Sydney||Match Stats||Career|
|3||Coniglio, Stephen||14||1||14||28||1||0||0||6||1||1||23y 233d||89||35|
|35||Corr, Aidan||9||1||6||15||0||0||0||2||3||1||23y 80d||53||1|
|1||Davis, Phil||6||2||5||11||0||0||0||5||0||1||26y 340d||115||6|
|24||de Boer, Matt||1||2||12||13||0||1||0||6||0||0||27y 148d||148||52|
|7||Deledio, Brett||8||3||0||8||1||2||0||5||1||1||30y 109d||244||183|
|19||Haynes, Nick||12||2||5||17||0||0||0||4||2||1||25y 79d||75||8|
|27||Himmelberg, Harry||4||2||8||12||1||0||0||5||0||0||21y 89d||11||3|
|2||Hopper, Jacob||7||0||10||17||0||0||0||9||1||1||20y 180d||17||8|
|17||Johnson, Steve||12||5||6||18||2||1||0||2||1||1||34y 32d||289||510|
|22||Kelly, Josh||15||3||12||27||3||2||0||9||0||1||22y 174d||78||49|
|15||Kennedy, Matthew||10||2||10||20||0||0||0||6||0||1||20y 121d||18||7|
|37||Lobb, Rory||7||2||9||16||0||0||12||3||3||1||24y 177d||50||52|
|41||Mumford, Shane||2||1||9||11||1||0||46||13||4||7||31y 31d||169||51|
|9||Scully, Tom||9||1||15||24||1||0||0||8||2||0||26y 82d||145||70|
|23||Shaw, Heath||10||8||6||16||0||0||0||3||1||0||31y 251d||256||39|
|5||Shiel, Dylan||13||2||12||25||1||0||0||5||0||0||24y 149d||106||56|
|10||Smith, Devon||8||2||1||9||2||1||0||11||1||0||24y 77d||107||100|
|20||Tomlinson, Adam||7||2||5||12||0||0||0||1||0||0||23y 360d||86||19|
|8||Ward, Callan||15||3||14||29||1||1||0||5||1||1||27y 117d||186||93|
|6||Whitfield, Lachie||12||6||6||18||0||2||0||4||1||1||23y 18d||84||40|
|29||Williams, Zac||10||1||10||20||0||0||0||5||0||0||22y 319d||70||20|
|16||Wilson, Nathan||15||2||6||21||0||2||0||2||1||0||24y 210d||71||15|
|17||Frost, Sam||5||3||3||8||0||0||0||1||1||1||23y 342d||56||8|
|36||Garlett, Jeff||1||0||2||3||0||0||0||3||0||3||28y 2d||164||289|
|11||Gawn, Max||10||6||9||19||1||1||52||5||4||3||25y 218d||71||37|
|43||Harmes, James||8||3||12||20||0||0||0||0||0||2||21y 304d||41||25|
|14||Hibberd, Michael||15||3||15||30||0||0||0||3||1||0||27y 214d||99||12|
|29||Hunt, Jayden||5||2||5||10||0||0||0||4||0||1||22y 124d||38||10|
|39||Jetta, Neville||7||4||10||17||0||0||0||6||2||0||27y 174d||113||24|
|2||Jones, Nathan||11||2||18||29||0||0||0||5||0||1||29y 197d||236||115|
|6||Lewis, Jordan||13||3||22||35||0||0||0||3||1||1||31y 103d||280||150|
|48||Maynard, Corey||5||0||13||18||1||0||0||7||3||0||25y 302d||1||1|
|28||McDonald, Oscar||11||4||5||16||0||0||0||3||2||0||21y 140d||34||0|
|25||McDonald, Tom||10||8||6||16||1||0||2||8||3||0||24y 321d||123||31|
|18||Melksham, Jake||7||2||7||14||2||0||0||2||0||1||25y 341d||130||72|
|30||Neal-Bullen, Alex||16||7||1||17||2||0||0||5||0||1||21y 208d||31||20|
|13||Oliver, Clayton||10||1||22||32||0||0||0||9||1||3||20y 14d||32||10|
|21||Pedersen, Cameron||3||3||5||8||1||0||2||3||0||1||30y 141d||73||61|
|5||Petracca, Christian||3||1||13||16||0||0||0||1||0||3||21y 213d||36||35|
|3||Salem, Christian||11||4||10||21||0||0||0||4||0||1||22y 21d||45||13|
|12||Tyson, Dom||5||3||16||21||1||0||0||3||0||1||24y 58d||87||41|
|23||Vince, Bernie||20||7||13||33||0||0||0||3||0||0||31y 307d||209||111|
|7||Viney, Jack||7||2||15||22||0||0||0||6||0||0||23y 114d||87||24|
|4||Watts, Jack||6||3||4||10||1||0||0||2||1||0||26y 132d||152||142|