18/04/2024

GWS come back into form with an impressive win over the Bulldogs. (Photo: AFL.com.au)

The Giants have got themselves back on the winners list with a comfortable 21-point victory of the Bulldogs.

Coming off back-to-back losses, the Greater Western Sydney Giants have got their season back on track with a 21-point victory over the Western Bulldogs in their first home game of the season.

Starting strong out of the gates, the Giants piled the goals on early, kicking the opening three goals of the game to lead at every change, with their five goal to one opening half helping set up the victory at Henson Park.

The Giants come away with a four-goal victory, but the scoreboard wouldn’t reflect the competitiveness of the game with the Bulldogs registering 27 more disposals, in addition to finishing the game with 12 more inside 50s and five more clearances.

It’s front of goal that would be the Bulldogs downfall.

Despite taking four more shots on goal, the Bulldogs finished with just two majors and 10 behinds to the Giants’ seven goals and one behind.

Giants coach Allen McConnell after the game said he felt it was solid performance and was pleased how his side were able to turn its form around following the performances of the past two rounds.

“I’m pretty proud of the girls today, we know we’re better than what we’ve offered [in recent weeks], particularly last week [against the Kangaroos],” he said post-game.

“It’s fabulous under the duress of the week that we’re able to pull off a gutsy win.”

It was the Giants midfield duo of Alicia Eva and Alyce Parker that were amongst the top contributors in the win, continuing their impressive start to the 2022 AFLW season.

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Playing a more defensive role, Eva finished the game with 12 disposals and laid an impressive game high 12 tackles. Parker, who had a quiet week against the Round 3 loss to the Kangaroos would return back to form, finishing the game with a game high 20 possessions.

Up forward goals would come from an unlikely source with defender Nicola Barr playing as a makeshift forward and would finish the game with three goals. Having never kicked a goal prior the clash against the Bulldogs, Barr looked right at home up forward, kicking two goals in the opening quarter to help give her side an early jump, while also kicking a settler in the final term to help give the Giants momentum when the Bulldogs mounted a surge.

Key defender Louise Stephenson would also be trialled up forward to great effect, finishing the game with two goals, including an impressive goal in the opening term.

Cora Staunton and Jessica Doyle also got on the scoreboard scoring a goal a piece, with the veteran Staunton scoring early in the second and Doyle nabbing her first career AFLW goal late in the fourth quarter.

Pleased with Barr’s influence on the game, McConnell was complimentary of her performance, saying that she’s just one of a few players that are playing career best football this season.

“I’m on record saying multiple times over the three or four weeks despite our form, we’ve got four or five girls who are better players now than at any other point in their career, and Nic [Barr] is one of those” he said.

“I’m continuing to drive her a bit, and I what I’m most proud of is her tackle late [in the game] that probably put the game away, because it’s not something she’s renowned for but she’s symptomatic of a number of our girls that are trying to take this team and the club somewhere [big] in the comp.”

Playing their first home game of the season, McConnell also thanked the home fans’ support, saying they provided a great atmosphere and were great in getting behind the side.

“I thought the crowd was sensational, the energy that they produced, the numbers that were here…the crowd waited until after the game to see them [the side] off, which I thought was just fabulous from them,” he said.

“We’ve had some tough outings here in Sydney with the weather and other things, so for them [the Giants] to play at home and do it front of a fabulous crowd at this venue has just been sensational.”

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