Manuka Oval (Star Track Oval) Manuka, Canberra Australia.
At half time at Manuka, it looked like the Greater Western Sydney Giants of old. Easy turnovers, silly fundamental errors and an opposition racking up scoreboard pressure, you could be excused for thinking last week’s win against St-Kilda was beginner’s luck.
After the main break, Leon Cameron and his team had a nasty surprise waiting for the visiting Melbourne side who looked switched on, led by 27 points and gave no indication as to what was to follow. In an amazing, record breaking 3rd quarter, the Giants turned the game on it’s head by booting 9 goals to Melbourne’s measly 3 points and put on a vision of an exciting GWS Giants future.
The Demons were the first team out of the blocks, they outrun, outplayed and outscored the Giants for two quarters. It was classic Paul Roos football with his team being able to shut down any run the Giants wished to perform and then turned defense into unstoppable attack.
Melbourne’s backline led by Tom McDonald, Daniel Cross and Harry Lumumba set up many attacking drives which saw midfielders in Christian Salem, Jack Watts and Jack Viney cash in on their hard work and were completely outplaying the GWS.
Demon defender, Tom McDonald in particular was easily the best on ground for the half, he kept gun forward Jeremy Cameron quiet and even chipped in with a handy intercept conversion goal. Ruckman Mark Jamar was matching it with the in-form Shane Mumford and new recruit Harry Lumumba was really showing his worth amassing 10 disposals.
Keeping the Giants in the game was Callan Ward who continually put his body on the line and put pressure on the Demon’s midfield. Heath Shaw also kept his work-rate up and was the Giants leading possession getter with 13 up until the half-time break.
What was said in the sheds during the half-time break was a matter of conjecture for the Giants fans who would have reasonably thought coach Leon Cameron would give his team a “paint peeling” address. Whatever the method, the Greater Western Sydney Giants came out full of running and began to display some scintillating football.
Midfielders Stephen Coniglio, Adam Treloar, Devon Smith and Dylan Shiel were electrifying in their goal scoring efforts, whilst forward Cam McCarthy boted two goals and continues to impress with his forward play and marking presentation.Josh Kelly and Toby Greene were amongst the best, whilst defenders Joel Patfull and Phil Davis provided rock solid support and kept Melbourne to only one goal for the entire 2nd half of the game.
For Melbourne it was a Jekyll and Hyde performance, but in reality it was the Greater Western Giants who completely outplayed and outrun the Demons.
The win sets up a cracking local derby encounter with cross-town rivals in the Sydney Swans. Both teams are undefeated and both teams will be out to claim the “Battle of The Bridge” title at the Sydney Cricket Ground next Saturday evening.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 2.6 11.8 15.11 (101)
MELBOURNE 4.2 7.3 7.6 8.8 (56)
Greater Western Sydney: McCarthy 3, Shiel 3, Coniglio 2, Smith 2, Treloar, Wilson, Cameron, Scully, Mumford
Melbourne: Hogan 2, Newton 2, McDonald, Kent, Jamar, Garlett
Greater Western Sydney: , Shiel, Treloar, Shaw
Melbourne: McDonald, Lumumba, Viney
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Sam Hay, Troy Pannell
Crowd: 7,760 at the StarTrack (Maunka) Oval, Canberra.