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GIANTS GWS 11.12 (78) d GEELONG 11.8 (74)

Tom Hawkins of the Cats will face the Giants on Saturday night.

Tom Hawkins of the Cats will face the Giants on Saturday night.Credit: fake images


Toby Greene’s magnificent, curling banana goal, Leek Aleer’s acrobatic defensive branding and Ryan Angwin’s match-sealing tackle combined to give Greater Western Sydney a stunning victory over Geelong. The Giants snapped their three-game skid and extended the Cats’ losing streak to four in frantic fashion. Jake Riccardi scored one of the goals of the year in the second half, dispossessing Sam De Koning and then launching another up the middle from inside the center area. His fellow forward Jesse Hogan was singing, but his missed shot midway through the third stanza sparked a Geelong rearguard. The Cats dominated the territory late in the third quarter and for most of the fourth, cementing the lead, before Greene, with ice in his veins, scored a beauty, described in goal kick king Jason Dunstall’s commentary as “a real player.” exquisite finish.” Aleer justified his inclusion with a superb flying defensive 50 with a minute remaining before Angwin’s tackle on Tanner Bruhn with 16 seconds remaining took the Giants to safety.

Butchery in the farm
Stephen Coniglio was everywhere from the start, despite injuring his left shoulder on a strong tackle by Max Holmes. Coniglio left for treatment, returned and combined with the great Kieren Briggs to lead the Giants’ first-half thrashing of the Cats’ midfield. But the injury forced him to retire to the bench again in the second quarter, this time permanently, as he put on his jacket and officially came out as a substitute. Harry Perryman also finished the game on the pine after injuring his left hamstring late in the fourth quarter. Finn Callaghan and Mark Blicavs also appeared to pull their hamstrings in those throbbing final moments as the match became a veritable war of attrition.

It wasn’t the result Tom Hawkins and the Cats wanted, after the big spearhead overtook legendary teammate Joel Selwood to become Geelong’s all-time games record holder. Playing in his 356th game, Hawkins, the second leading scorer in Cats history after Gary Ablett, kicked two big ones to give his team a sniff. His first capped a dominant first quarter for the hosts, before his second, late in the third period, came amid a huge shift in momentum, shortly after he had set up his strike partner Jeremy Cameron.