Stand-in skipper Stephen Coniglio led from the front as GWS beat Sydney by 41 points in their AFL derby at the SCG, where Toby Greene returned from a calf injury with a bang.
Coniglio, captaining the Giants in the absence of injured veterans Phil Davis and Callan Ward, booted four goals on Saturday night after marching his team to a 16-point lead at quarter-time.
The Swans slip to 1-5 and face an uphill battle if they’re to make a 10th- consecutive finals appearance. They sent George Hewett to tag the ball magnet and threw everything at their rivals despite the absence of late withdrawal Lance Franklin.
Sydney briefly hit the front during the second term of a spiteful clash that featured plenty of scraps and sledging, but the Giants steadied in style and proved far too classy in slippery conditions, triumphing 18.12 (120) to 12.7 (79).
Tim Taranto won the Brett Kirk medal as best on ground but there was no shortage of contenders as GWS smacked the Swans 175-141 in contested possessions.
Coniglio finished with 24 disposals to go with his four majors.
“He’s got to be the most-underrated player in the competition,” former Swans coach and Fox Footy commentator Paul Roos said of Coniglio.
“He’s a genuine star.”
Jacob Hopper, who was slow to get up after copping a blow to the head in the second quarter, and Josh Kelly were also pivotal in GWS’s midfield dominance.
Zac Williams, Heath Shaw and Nick Haynes were immense in defence for the Giants, while pantomime villain Greene helped the expansion club to kick their biggest score against the Swans.
Greene, booed routinely every time he touched the ball, kicked three goals and his first two were remarkably impressive for both the level of difficulty and pressure-laden state of the game.
Jeremy Cameron and Daniel Lloyd also chipped in with three goals each.
GWS star Lachie Whitfield suffered a badly corked thigh and struggled to move freely in the second half, while teammate Sam Reid limped off late with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
Davis’ omission because of an ankle injury was on the cards throughout the week, but Franklin’s hamstring strain was more of a shock for the red-and-white faithful.
The Giants, who are nestled in the top four, next face St Kilda on Saturday in Canberra. Sydney take on Brisbane, also next Saturday, at the Gabba.
© AAP 2019
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 5.5 7.8 13.10 18.12 (120)
SYDNEY 3.1 7.3 10.6 12.7 (79)
Goals: Greater Western Sydney: S Coniglio 4 D Lloyd 3 J Cameron 3 T Greene 3 L Whitfield 2 J Kelly M De Boer T Taranto. Sydney: J Dawson 2 L Parker 2 N Blakey 2 S Reid 2 C Sinclair I Heeney T McCartin T Papley.
Official Crowd: 29,780 at SCG.