On arguably the most bizarre Saturday afternoon of footy in VFL/AFL history, one team stood out from the rest.
There may have been no fans in attendance at Giants Stadium to witness Greater Western Sydney’s performance against the Cats, but plenty around the country tuned in to see one of the flag favourites make an early statement of intent.
GWS were ruthlessly efficient against 2019 preliminary finalists Geelong, kicking an astonishing 17.3 to run out 32-point winners.
If this unprecedented season happens to make it as far as a grand final, it would be a brave person to bet against the Giants featuring.
The other three games on Saturday were also played behind closed doors as the AFL enforces strict measures to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first two games sprung to life late. After Essendon and Sydney held sway for the most part against Fremantle and Adelaide respectively, the Dockers and Crows charged home with wet sails, but fell just short.
The Bombers and Swans came away with six- and three-point victories respectively, and while they’ll take the four premiership points, especially in an abbreviated 17-game season, both teams clearly have a bit to work on.
Heeney starred for Sydney with four goals while newcomer Jacob Townsend began life at Essendon in perfect fashion, kicking three and setting up another one.
The other winners today were Port Adelaide who brushed aside Gold Coast to the tune of 47 points.
Thanks for joining us today, we hope you enjoyed our rolling coverage. Hopefully it’s not the last time we enjoy your company this year and we have another Saturday of footy action to cover next week as well!
Geelong must be wondering what went wrong tonight.
They finished up winning the disposals 272-258, marks 83-64, inside 50s 42-39 and contested possessions 102-99 – but lost by 32 points!
The Giants were incredible in front of goal tonight with 17 goals from 20 scoring shots.
GWS are the first team to kick 100 points against Geelong in 34 games – in a shortened game! Ominous.
GWS 5.0, 9.1, 13.3, 17.3 (105)
Geelong 4.2, 6.6, 8.7, 11.7 (73)
GWS: Perryman 4, Greene 4, Cameron 3, Lloyd 2, Coniglio 2, Finlayson, Langdon
Geelong: Duncan 3, Hawkins 2, Dangerfield, Rohan, Dahlhaus, Miers, Ablett, O’Connor
GWS: Hopper 22, Whitfield 21, Haynes 20, Perryman 20, Coniglio 19, Kelly 18
Geelong: Ablett 24, Duncan 21, Stewart 18
What a terrible second half that was – two goals combined!
In any case, Port Adelaide did all the damage in the first half and finished up winning the disposals 356-298, clearances 35-25, tackles 52-38, marks 90-58, inside 50s 62-31, contested possessions 131-118, free kicks 17-14 and scoring shots 26-9.
Gold Coast 1.1, 3.2, 4.5, 4.5 (29)
Pt.Adelaide 4.2, 9.6, 9.9, 10.16 (76)
Gold Coast: King, Lemmens, Swallow, Ainsworth
Pt.Adelaide: Marshall 2, Motlop 2, Georgiades 2, Ebert, Butters, Rozee, Hartlett
Gold Coast: Miller 22, B.Ellis 21
Pt.Adelaide: Rockliff 26, Boak 25, Byrne-Jones 25, Rozee 21, Ebert 20, Amon 20, Powell-Pepper 20
BACK-TO-BACK GWS GOALS
Daniels roves the pack, shrugs off the would-be tackler beautifully, turns on a dime and weights the kick to perfection to hit Greene on the chest in the goal square.
From point-blank range, Greene joins Perryman on four goals and the Giants are going to record a very impressive win.
Leading disposals: Ablett 23, Hopper 21, Duncan 20, Whitfield 18
Perryman accepts the handball from debutant Green and snaps truly from the pocket!
Perryman has a game-high four goals after heading into the game with four career goals!
THREE GEELONG GOALS IN A ROW!
Ratugolea pumps it forward and O’Connor takes the grab 25m out from goal.
The Irishman then gets a 50m penalty after copping a late clip from Davis! That makes a certainty of it and it’s just a 20-point game! Plenty of time for the Cats too!
8:19 to go
BACK-TO-BACK GEELONG GOALS
Hawkins turns from goal scorer to provider as he chips it to Ablett who nails the set shot from 50m out directly in front.