The GWS Giants have moved back into the top eight after a 26-point victory over the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but the win may have come at a cost.
The Giants picked up a couple of hamstring injuries during the match with superstar forward Toby Greene leaving the field early on, while Matt De Boer was forced off in the dying minutes.
The injuries soured the Giants’ best four-quarter performance of the season as they notched their ninth straight victory over the Suns.
The first quarter was a scrappy affair with both sides struggling to move the ball, but it was the Giants who managed the only two goals to set up a 13-point lead at quarter time.
The Suns started the second quarter on fire with two quick goals to reduce the margin to just one point, but the Giants managed to win back control through some of their stars.
Goals to Jacob Hopper and Jeremy Cameron before half-time restored the Giants’ 13-point lead at the main break.
The Giants defence, and Nick Haynes in particular, proved too strong for the Suns in the third quarter as they held them goalless in a quarter for the second time in this match.
Despite holding the Suns to just the three behinds, the Giants couldn’t put them away as they only managed one goal in the third quarter to head into the final quarter with an 18-point lead.
The class of the Giants side finally started to shine through in the final quarter as they booted four goals to two to seal the comfortable 26-point win.
The Giants dominated the key statistics, winning the disposal count 348-269, the contested possessions 131-111 and, for the first time this season, they won the inside 50 count 45-39.
The lack of inside 50s had been a big problem for the Giants this season, but they managed to play the majority of the game in their forward half thanks to some stellar performances from their star players.
Josh Kelly continued his return to form with 28 disposals and a goal, Lachie Whitfield had a game-high 29 disposals and two goal assists while the returning Zac Williams was superb.
Williams missed the past four matches with a hamstring injury but showed how valuable he is to this Giants side with his desire to take the game on using his speed.
The Giants have now won two games in a row to sit 7th on the ladder at the completion of round 9, but they’ll have to move on quickly as round 10 begins tonight, 3 August.