The GWS Giants tough start to the season has continued at Manuka Oval with injuries taking their toll during the 34-point loss to the Melbourne Demons.
Captain Stephen Coniglio (ankle), Phil Davis (calf) and Matt de Boer (hamstring) finished the game in tracksuits as their teammates struggled late in the 15.12 (102) to 11.2 (68) loss.
Alex Neal-Bullen got the Demons off to the perfect start with a brilliant dribble goal from the boundary before the Giants hit back with four straight goals.
Toby Greene was the Giants main threat, kicking two goals as the Giants went into quarter time with a 16-point lead.
The Demons started to gain control in the second quarter with the Giants losing both Davis and Coniglio, forcing them to bring on their injury sub Nick Shipley.
Melbourne kicked four goals to two in the second to reduce the margin to just two points at the main break.
They continued to surge at the start of the third quarter with two quick goals and things got even worse for the Giants with de Boer’s night coming to an end.
The Giants looked to be running out of run with the Demons dominating the quarter, kicking four goals to one, heading into the final quarter with an 18-point lead.
The Giants were going to need something special to spark a comeback win and Greene looked the man to do it as he kicked two quick goals early in the last to get them back to within 6 points.
The momentum wouldn’t live long though as the Demons started to overrun the tired Giants, kicking five straight goals to put the game beyond doubt.
Greene was the standout Giant with five goals but played a lone hand in the undersized forward line. Tim Taranto and Josh Kelly were the pick of their midfielders while Lachie Ash played his best game for the club down back.
For the Demons, Max Gawn’s dominance got greater as the game went on while small forward Kysaiah Pickett was electric kicking four goals.
It’s been a brutal start to the season for the Giants, with three straight losses to open the season compounded by a long injury list.
It doesn’t get any easier for them next week when they travel to the MCG to take on the Magpies on Saturday night, 10 April.
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