Red-hot Giants welcome winter in style
INSPIRED by a pre-match visit from Gavin Robertson, the Giants promptly demolished the Gold Coast Suns by 83 points to keep their charge for a first flag firmly on track.
The former Test cricketer is a much-loved GWS employee and was also there to join in the team song afterwards. Former Test captain Steve Waugh was also there to support his mate.
Robertson's battle with brain cancer has deeply touched all at the club and the players duly produced a performance to bring a smile to his face.
"He's an all-round really good fella," GWS coach Leon Cameron said of Robertson.
"He's got a big battle on his hands and it was just pleasing to have him there. They're (the players) really close to him. Also after the game he was there with his family as well. If we can do anything as a footy club to help him we'll be bending over backwards."
The Giants made it three wins in a row, climbing to second place on the ladder as they claimed victory in the 'expansion derby' in front of 7581 fans on Saturday.
Suns coach Stuart Dew said his side had been 'outclassed' by the best team they had played in the competition so far.
Proudly wearing their indigenous guernsey, the Giants followed up last week's hoodoo-breaking triumph at the MCG with a ruthless display on their own turf.
It simply rained goals as the home team ended with a 19.12.126 to 6.7.43 triumph.
WE'RE NOT THERE YET
Cameron was delighted with three wins in a row but warned nobody at the club was getting carried away.
"I think we're playing some pretty good footy but consistently we need to step up to the plate because we're not quite there yet," Cameron said.
"Every coach and coaching group is looking for perfection, you won't get it. But you're driving to have strong habits for longer. By no means are we getting carried away."
Jeremy Cameron (five goals, 20 disposals), Jeremy Finlayson (two goals) and Harry Himmelberg (three goals) continued their deadly assault on opposing defences with all three looking sharp at the end of a week where forwards coach Brad Miller hailed their selflessness as a unit.
The Giants remain hopeful star midfielder Stephen Coniglio will sign a new deal and he again sparkled.
Coniglio ended the day with 36 disposals, eight tackles, 13 marks and also celebrated three goals late in the piece. Kelly also ended with 36 disposals and five tackles.
Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto contributed 31 and 24 disposals respectively as the midfield won the day convincingly.
The Giants got down to business swiftly with Himmelberg kicking a goal inside the first 90 seconds but while the visitors fought back quickly, the longer the clash went on, the tougher their assignment looked.
PAIN FOR WHITFIELD
A seesawing opening quarter brought a painful moment for Lachie Whitfield as he hobbled off after finding himself the meat in a Suns sandwich. He looked to be struggling later in the contest but Cameron was confident he would be fine for next week's test in Adelaide against the Crows.
The Giants led by 19 points at the main break with the statistics showing the home side in front on disposals (195-153), inside 50s (27-23) and uncontested possessions (133-81).
SUNS FADED FAST
For the Suns, there simply wasn't enough reward on the scoreboard for the Suns.
The visitors simply had no answer and the home side ended the day with a first goal for Kelly - just reward for his efforts.
In the final analysis the Giants enjoyed 416 disposals to the Suns' 265 with inside 50s 56 to 39.