Sydney Showgrounds, Homebush, Sydney Australia
Back at home and looking to get into winning form the Greater Western Sydney Giants began their quest to reclaim their finals aspirations in a positive manner. The first quarter saw the GWS boys keep St-Kilda goaless. It was the first, first quarter of the 2015 AFL season that the Giants had kept a team without a goal. They also were clearly winning the contested ball 41-29. Pressure was applied at both ends of the ground by the Giants. Tom Scully and Callan Ward were the main instigators behind the Giants drive.For the Saints David Armitage continued his good form around the packs and was ably assisted by Tim Membrey.
The Giants continued their good form in the second quarter with the opening goal by Dylan Shiel but it came at a cost. What looked like an innocuous goal, turned out to be a hamstring centered injury and was forced to leave the ground for assessment by the team physio. The Giants defense led by Heath Shaw and Matt Buntine set a solid example of pressuring their opponents and hurling their bodies over the kicker to smother any St-Kilda kick that was threatening to score.
Jeremy Cameron was superb up forward, he booted his fourth goal of the game with a clever bouncing snap.St-Kilda finally were able to score their first goal of the game at the 13:21 minute mark of the second quarter when Jack Sinclair slotted through a goal on the run. The Giants responded well and stemmed the Saints challenge with goals from Jack Steele and Rory Lobb.
The Giants went into the half-time break with a 34 point lead.
St-Kilda began the second half in flying style booting three early goals via Josh Bruce, Maverick Weller and Nick Riewoldt. The Saints were back in the game with more contested possession and were pressuring the Giants into disposal errors. St-Kilda were dictating the pace of the game at the point of disposal and making sure they found a teammate instead of turning the ball over easily.The contested possession count of 43 more than the Giants for the 3rd term clearly illustrated the Saints work-rate and were back in the game.
The fourth was looking to be a close fought affair, but the Giants responded magnificently. Goals from Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Cam McCarthy and Zac Williams put the game beyond doubt and it was an impressive victory for the Greater Western Sydney side. Their debut finals dream remains well and truly alive.
Saints coach Alan Richardson rued his sides poor start, but saw a lot of positives in how they managed to claw their way back into the game.
For the Giants, Leon Cameron was delighted with his young group of players such as Tom Downie, Rory Lobb, Jack Steele and Zac Williams.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants will have a six day break before taking on the Gold Coast Suns away. St-Kilda returns home to Etihad Stadium to take on the hot, in form Richmond Tigers next Sunday.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 4.3 8.5 8.8 12.12 (84)
ST KILDA 0.5 2.7 5.10 6.13 (49)
GWS: Cameron 5, McCarthy 2,Shiel, Steele, Lobb, Greene, Williams
St Kilda: Bruce 2, Sinclair, Steven, Weller, Riewoldt
GWS: Coniglio, Cameron,Williams
St Kilda: Armitage, Weller, Steven
GWS: Shiel (knee)
St Kilda: Riewoldt (calf)
GWS: Curtly Hampton replaced Dylan Shiel in the second quarter
St Kilda: Farren Ray replaced Sebastian Ross in the third quarter
Reports: Billy Longer (St Kilda) reported for rough conduct against Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney) in the first quarter
Umpires: Fisher, Stephens, Jeffery
Official crowd: 9178 at Spotless Stadium