The GWS Giants have awoken from a form slump to stamp themselves as genuine contenders. After consecutive losses to Sydney and West Coast, the Giants finished their three match tour of the Western Australian hub with a thumping victory over the Fremantle Dockers. The Giants were too big and too strong around the ball for the Dockers and up forward Jeremy Cameron shook off his indifferent form to boot four majors. Cameron was ably assisted by newcomer Jake Riccardi, who has taken nineteen marks in his first two games and booted four goals against the Dockers to bring his league goal tally to six. The undersized Docker defense lacked the height and strength to match the Giants’ big forwards. The Giants dominated the center clearances in the opening term and Stephen Coniglio and Tim Taranto repeatedly drove the visitors into attack. By the end of the first quarter Cameron had booted two goals and Ricciardi and Harry Himmelberg had booted one each. The Dockers’ first goal came from a good mark (catch) and snap by Matt Taberner, after twenty-two minutes of play.
The Dockers slowed the Giants’ scoring rate in the second quarter but Tim Taranto and Bobby Hill still managed a goal each. The Dockers’ only goal for the quarter was scored by Brett Bewley who booted from forty-eight meters after a nice side step. The signs of a Giant revival were ominous in the second quarter, even if it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard. The Giants were running. By creating a spread across the field they created loose players. Lachie Whitfield got plenty of the ball for the Giants. By half time they had amassed thirty-two more uncontested possessions than the Dockers and had taken fifteen more marks. In addition the Giants had out tackled the Dockers twenty-six to twenty-three. With that sort of work rate it would only be a matter of time before the Dockers were completely blown away.
The home side came out fighting after the main break. Two quick goals to veteran David Mundy had them within fourteen points of the Giants. Ricciardi and Toby Greene then both booted majors to restore the margin before the Dockers were lifted by a first career goal to Liam Henry at the nineteen minute mark. The response from the Giants was brutal. They dominated all over the ground to take total control of the game. Lachie Whitfield, Taranto, Coniglio, Jacob Hopper, and Zac Williams were in everything. If there was a contested ball, the Giants won it. If there was a break out from defense, it was the Giants sweeping the ball into attack. The Dockers were out muscled, out jumped and out run. The Giants finished the third quarter with three consecutive goals and then added three more at the start of the final quarter while only conceding the Dockers one solitary point.
It was twenty minutes of power football that added an exclamation mark to the statement that the Giants were back! It was a dismal day for the Docker prime movers. Nat Fyfe was shut down by Matt de Boer. Young stars Adam Cerra, Caleb Serong and James Brayshaw were pushed aside by their stronger opponents. Michael Walters was always under pressure. David Mundy was strong for the Dockers in the midfield but he lacked support. Sean Darcy matched the Giants’ Shane Mumford in the ruck but Mumford won more clearances.
The Giants eased the pressure a little in the last part of the final quarter, which allowed the Dockers to add three goals and save some face in front of their home crowd. The Dockers have a four day break before they meet the Richmond Tigers at Metricon Stadium in Queensland. The Tigers will be relatively fresh from a six-day break and will be ready to pounce on the wounded Dockers. Fremantle’s chances of making the finals have effectively disappeared and they will use the last four games to test the resilience of their young stars. The Giants have a five-day break before meeting Carlton at Metricon. After Carlton they have games against Adelaide and Melbourne. If the Giants retain their intensity, they should win all three games and set themselves for a potential finals campaign where anything is possible.
Scores Fremantle: 1.1 2.3 5.3 8.5 (53) Greater Western Sydney: 4.2 6.4 11.37 14.7 (91) Best Fremantle: Mundy, Brayshaw, Cerra, Conca, Wilson Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Cameron, Coniglio, Taranto, Riccardi
Article last changed on Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 12:12 AM EDT