By CHARLIE GOODSIR
The GIANTS have now won three games in a row after they defeated a hard working but ultimately disappointing Gold Coast SUNS side by 52 points at Spotless Stadium.
After a tight first quarter, the GIANTS went on to dominate the second and third to set up the comprehensive 13.17 (95) to 5.13 (43) victory.
Adam Kennedy was best on ground in his first game after a serious leg injury in Round 7 last year in the AFL.
“(When Kennedy kicked the opening goal) it was bloody lifting”, GIANTS coach Adam Schneider told neafl.com.au.
“It’s team lifting stuff… rehab is a lonely place and it’s great to see him play some footy and have some fun.”
The Gold Coast SUNS were arguably the better side in the first quarter, with Josh Schoenfeld racking up 17 disposals in the first term alone across half-back.
The SUNS’ defence were terrific in the opening quarter after an early GIANTS onslaught and took several intercept marks and rebounded off the back line with efficiency to set up a handful of scoring opportunities.
After a tight first quarter in which there were five lead changes, the GIANTS clicked into another gear and stamped their authority on the game by kicking six goals in the second quarter.
Brent Daniels had a remarkable second term as he kicked three goals in the space of nine minutes to give the GIANTS a strong 39-point lead at the main break.
The GIANTS could have been in front by more at three-quarter time had they kicked straight as they kicked 3.7. However, with the SUNS unable to score down the other end of the ground, it meant little in the context of the match.
Jeremy Finlayson kicked the goal of the game for the GIANTS in the eight-minute mark of the third quarter through beautiful stoppage work and busted out of heavy traffic to kick a fantastic goal. The GIANTS went into the final change with a commanding 60-point lead.
The final quarter played out very similar to the first as the SUNS tried to add some respectability to the total.
Jarryd Lyons kicked the SUNS fourth goal of the game after 11 minutes of the fourth quarter which consequently ended the GIANTS’ run of 11 goals, and was Gold Coast’s first goal since the 23rd minute of the first.
Gold Coast won the final quarter and toiled hard all day but were simply beaten by a better side on Saturday in the GIANTS.
Kennedy was the clear standout, returning with 35 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s, three tackles, three clearances and 2.2 in a best-on-ground display.
Finlayson (31 possessions, seven marks, seven rebound-50’s, three inside-50’s and a goal) continued his excellent NEAFL form while Nick Shipley laid 15 tackles along with 24 touches and three clearances.
All of the SUNS players tried hard all day but Jarryd Lyons was a star, finishing the day with 37 disposals, six tackles, nine clearances, four inside 50s and a goal despite being tagged by Shipley for the majority of the match.
Peter Wright was also solid for the SUNS as he picked up 17 touches around all parts of the ground and also amassed 22 hit-outs, two clearances and two inside 50s.
After a blistering opening quarter, Schoenfeld ended the match with 30 touches, nine tackles, six inside 50s and five clearances in a strong display.
“It’s not about what we win by” said Schneider. “It’s about how we go about it and that’s what’s been really pleasing.”
Schneider also said that the GIANTS are starting to play their best brand of footy.
“Last week against the NT Thunder, we played exactly the way we wanted to play and we did the same thing again today,” he said.
There was a major injury concern in the second quarter as GIANTS player Tyh Evans and Gold Coast’s Jack Scrimshaw collided heads. Neither player returned after the incident with Evans suffering mild concussion and also a broken nose.
After a disappointing outing, the SUNS will face the in-form team of the competition in the Sydney Swans at Metricon Stadium, whilst the GIANTS have the bye.
“The boys have had a gruelling 10 weeks so they will have four days off… to relax and visit family,” Schneider said.
“They’ll be mainly focused on recovery and enjoying a bit of away time from footy.”
GIANTS v Gold Coast SUNS at Spotless Stadium
GIANTS 3.3 9.7 12.14 13.17 (95)
GOLD COAST 3.1 3.4 3.8 5.13 (43)
GOALS – GIANTS: B Daniels 3 Z Sproule 2 A Kennedy 2 D Buckley 2 J Finlayson D Simpson I Cumming M Buntine. Gold Coast: J Lyons W Powell B Crossley J Gore T Bowie
BEST – GIANTS: A Kennedy J Finlayson B Daniels D Buckley M Buntine J Stein. Gold Coast: J Lyons J Schoenfeld M Spencer J Dawson S Lemmens T Lowah.
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