The GWS Giants dished up their worst performance of the year in the 19th Sydney Derby as their cross-town rivals, the Sydney Swans turned it on for a comprehensive 41-point victory at Optus Stadium in Perth last night.
The Giants equalled their lowest ever score, tying with the 2019 Grand Final as they kicked 3.7 (25) to 10.6 (66).
Despite coming into the game having lost 6 of their past 7 matches, it was the Swans who got off to the fast start.
The Swans kicked three goals to none in the opening quarter thanks largely to Luke Parker dominating in the midfield and Jordan Dawson kicking two goals in the term.
Nick Blakey kept the momentum going for the Swans to start the second quarter with a superb snap to extend their lead to 23 points.
Jeremy Cameron was gifted a free kick in front of goal to get the Giants’ first goal of the match halfway through the second quarter, but the Swans answered right back through Blakey again and they went into half time leading by 23 points.
After a poor first half, Coniglio was interviewed by Fox Footy as he left the ground and was brutally honest, describing his side’s performance as “hopeless” and “simply not good enough”.
The Giants kicked the first goal of the second half through another soft free kick to Jeremy Finlayson, but their momentum was short lived as they struggled to find any connection between their midfield and forward line.
The Giants had plenty of inside 50s but could not find the scoreboard and the Swans made them pay as first-gamer Zac Foot kicked his first goal in the AFL to keep the Swans’ lead at 23 points at the final change.
The Giants needed a quick start to the last quarter, but couldn’t manufacture any purposeful attacks as the young Swans began to kick away.
Four consecutive goals to the Swans blew the margin out to 47 points before the Giants kicked a late goal from yet another dubious free kick to reduce the final margin to 41.
The loss was a reality check for the Giants who had won their previous three matches and looked like they were starting to find some form heading towards finals.
Their performance prompted St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt to declare the 2019 Grand Finalists “can’t win the flag” this season.
While the Giants played well below their potential given the amount of talent on their list, the Swans must be given credit for their performance.
It was a blend of youth and experience for the Swans with co-captain Luke Parker named the Brett Kirk medallist as best ground while fellow co-captain Dane Rampe was superb as he shut down Cameron.
Their youth showed the Swans’ future is bright with Blakey kicking two goals, Dylan Stephens slotting a goal in his best game to start his career and James Rowbottom getting the better of some stars in the Giants’ midfield. The Swans now lead the head to head matchups between the sides 12-7 after the 19th Derby
The loss leaves the Giants clinging to 8th spot on the ladder with both the Essendon Bombers and Melbourne Demons a chance of overtaking them this round.