Manuka Oval, Canberra Australia
The Greater Western Sydney Giants have posted their first ever win over the Geelong Football Club with a spirited, hard fought 13 point victory at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Sunday. The win came via a little help of a friend and now foe of Geelong in Steve Johnson. Johnson’s experience and goal sense helped his new club over the line booting the exact winning margin of 2 goals, one behind.
The first quarter saw the Cats begin the game in flying style with Jack Hawkins posting the first goal of the game in just over a minute. The Cats dominated the early clearances but were unable to put any scoreboard pressure on the Giants who were struggling against the bigger Geelong team.
The GWS Giants were able to get their first goal via a handy goal on the run from Nathan Wilson. Ryan Griffen then chipped in minutes later with another goal and the Giants were in front of Geelong who had wasted their opportunities to score. The first change saw Greater Western Sydney lead by just 2 points.
Despite an early Cats goal, the second quarter saw a more determined Giants team who were beginning to take a hold of the game. Midfielders in Toby Greene, Tom Scully, Dylan Shiel and Callan Ward were getting plenty of the football. The Giants poured on six goals to the Cats 4 and were the better of the two teams. Giants ruckman Shane Mumford was showing dominance in the ruck and around the ground and booted a very handy goal on the half time siren. His presence was annoying the Geelong team and there was a minor bit of niggle and pushing between both teams as they headed to the sheds for the long break.
The early part of the third quarter saw GWS Giants forward Will Hoskin-Elliott take a screamer of a mark and goaled to put the Giants further ahead. Rory Lobb also added another goal for the Giants and the boys in orange looked to have the upper hand on Geelong. Lobb has been impressive over the past couple of weeks. he has the ability to take a strong mark and also when moved to the defensive area, he repelled a number of Geelong attacks with his long reach and ability to get a hold of the ball.
Despite the Giants dominating the 3rd quarter Geelong were kept in the game with two late goals from Josh Caddy and Cory Gregson.With the 3/4 time siren sounding The GWS Giants looked to have the game in control.
Key Cats forward Tom Hawkins kicked a remarkable “soccer” type goal from close on 50 meters which saw the ball bounce through for a miraculous goal. Hawkins followed up with another goal soon after and the Cats were looking as ominous as they were against Hawthorn the previous week. Tall ruckman in Rhys Stanley goaled and Geelong were coming hard at the GWS Giants. Despite the fine play of Hawkins and Stanley it has to be said the Giants created some awful turnover football and gifted the Cats some golden scoring opportunities.
To the Giants credit Ryan Griffen was able to kick a steadying goal and the Giants hung on to their first ever victory over the Geelong Football Club by 13 points. The GWS Giants return to Sydney to face cross-town rivals the Sydney Swans in what should be a riveting game at the SCG next Saturday, whilst Geelong return home to face the Brisbane Lions next Sunday. In terms of the AFL ladder Geelong remain in the top 8 at 6th position, whilst the GWS Giants are 9th.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.1 8.4 12.8 13.11 (89)
GEELONG 1.5 5.7 8.8 11.10 (76)
Greater Western Sydney: Griffen 2, Smith 2, Johnson 2, Wilson, Coniglio, Shiel, Scully, Mumford, Hoskin-Elliott, Lobb
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Blicavs 2, Stanley 2, Lang, McCarthy, Caddy, Gregson
Greater Western Sydney: Mumford, Johnson, Greene
Geelong: Hawkins, Blicavs, Selwood
Greater Western Sydney: Caleb Marchbank (ankle)
Umpires: Matt Stevic, Craig Fleer, Andrew Mitchell
Official crowd: 13,656 at Manuka Oval