K rock Football

Giants ensure nervous wait for Cats

GEELONG is in danger of missing out on an AFLW finals berth in their debut season after suffering a shock 31-point loss to lowly Greater Western Sydney at Manuka Oval on Friday.

The Cats only needed to beat the Giants, who had previously won just one game, in their final-round encounter to guarantee themselves a top-two spot in Conference B.

But despite having so much to play for, Geelong was surprisingly flat before losing 6.5 (41) to 1.4 (10), a result that leaves them clinging to second spot for dear life.

They must now hope that winless Collingwood defeats the Brisbane Lions and/or the Western Bulldogs thump Carlton by a huge margin this weekend in order to qualify for the finals.

The Blues are now almost certainly guaranteed finals action.

A week after kicking their lowest score (2.1.13), the Cats lowered the bar yet again as their scoring woes struck them at the worst possible time of the season.

GWS dominated the disposal count 217-172 and also finished with more inside 50s (28-22), contested possessions (113-104), tackles (69-67) and clearances (25-22) in a dominant display.

The contest failed to reach any great heights in the first half, but GWS capitalised on Geelong’s poor disposal efficiency, especially exiting defence, to score goals in the opening term though Christina Bernardi and Haneen Zreika to take a 13-point lead at half-time.

The Giants looked slightly more dangerous going forward in the scrappy slugfest, restricting the Cats to just two behinds in the opening two quarters in perfect conditions.

But after a goalless second period, the dour struggle dissipated as the Giants’ superior pressure helped them bust open the game.

The hosts booted four of the last five majors, including Bernardi’s second, to run away with the game as the shell-shocked Cats finished the game with a scoreless final term and saw their finals dream take a massive hit.

© AAP 2019

GWS GIANTS 2.1 2.3 4.3 6.5 (41)

GEELONG 0.1 0.2 1.4 1.4 (10)

Goals: GWS Giants: C Bernardi 2 A Eva C Staunton H Zreika Y Bonner. Geelong: M Clifford.

Umpires: Nathan Toner, Nic McGinness, Courtney Gibson.

Official Crowd: 4,324 at Manuka Oval.