K rock Football

Giants too good for Hawks

JEREMY Finlayson has upstaged his famous namesake to boot four goals and pilot GWS to a 34-point AFL win over Hawthorn at Giants Stadium.

GWS gun Jeremy Cameron slotted two late goals on Sunday night, when the reigning Coleman medallist repeatedly roamed beyond the 50m arc and offered beautiful service to his fellow forwards.

But it was the premiership contenders’ lesser lights who did the bulk of the damage on the scoreboard, with Finlayson and Harry Himmelberg combining for eight goals as their side triumphed 13.5 (83) to 7.7 (49).

Hawthorn had 13 more Inside-50s than their opposition in the topsy-turvy contest, but the Giants scored with clinical efficiency and generally used the ball with better precision and purpose.

The loss was soured by injuries to young Hawks Jack Scrimshaw (ankle) and Mitch Lewis (hamstring) in the third quarter, while Liam Shiels was crunched in a fourth-quarter tackle by Toby Greene.

Finlayson and Himmelberg booted two goals each in the opening quarter, their side’s most productive start to a game since round one, to establish a 23-point lead at the first break.

Momentum then ebbed and flowed.

The Hawks trimmed the Giants’ buffer to 10 points at halftime, only for Finlayson and Himmelberg to reassert their side’s dominance and make it a 39-point lead.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson’s decision to send Ben McEvoy forward was rewarded with consecutive goals late in the third quarter, while a sensational set shot from Jack Gunston gave Hawthorn some hope at three-quarter time.

Cameron’s two settlers, the latter coming after a courageous mark when he ran back with the flight of the ball, put the result beyond doubt.

Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara helped themselves to a combined 49 disposals, but GWS coach Leon Cameron opted against sending Matt de Boer to tag either one of Hawthorn’s ball magnets.

Former co-captain Phil Davis, who passed a fitness test to take his place in the Giants’ side, clutched a game-high four contested marks.

Nick Haynes, Harry Perryman and Lachie Keeffe also starred down back for the hosts, while rebounding defender Heath Shaw wound the clock back to be one of the Giants’ best in his 313th game.

GWS veteran Shane Mumford’s first goal since coming out of retirement for the 2019 season, coming after he out-muscled McEvoy in a ruck contest, was greeted like a match-winning effort and due reward for an impressive night of hard work.

There was a degree of irony about the game’s opening goal, coming when Himmelberg wrapped Gunston up in a tackle and the umpire judged it holding the ball.

Hawks coach Clarkson had made an impassioned plea to reward the tackler with more holding-the-ball decisions a week ago, lamenting the congested state of modern football.

(C) AAP 2020

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 4.1 5.2 11.3 13.5 (83)

HAWTHORN 0.2 3.4 7.6 7.7 (49)

Goals: Greater Western Sydney: H Himmelberg 4 J Finlayson 4 J Cameron 2 D Lloyd S Mumford T Greene. Hawthorn: J Gunston 3 B McEvoy 2 P Puopolo S Burgoyne.

Umpires: Shaun Ryan, Nicholas Foot, Craig Fleer.

Venue: Giants Stadium.