Greater Western Sydney have finally proved they can win without their `Mummy’ by getting their AFL finals campaign back on track with a 35-point victory over St Kilda.
The Giants climbed into eighth spot and ended a run of three straight losses with a 12.12 (84) to 6.13 (49) triumph at Spotless Stadium on Sunday.
GWS were only really troubled in the third quarter in which the Saints kicked 3.3 to 0.3.
Forward Jeremy Cameron booted five goals for the Giants, who kicked the first six goals of the game.
The Saints went from kicking their biggest score of the season to their smallest in successive games after coming off a 25-goal assault on Essendon last week.
The Saints only logged behinds with their first six scores before Jack Sinclair kicked their first goal almost 14 minutes into the second quarter.
GWS were 22 points up at the first change and by 34 at halftime.
The Giants had a 40-point second quarter advantage slashed to 16 by the end of the third.
That comeback seemed to drain the Saints, who were outscored 4.4 to 1.3 in the final term.
It was the first victory the Giants posted in eight AFL games across the last two seasons without hugely influential ruckman Shane Mumford.
“There’s no doubt we’re heading in the right direction,” Giants’ coach Leon Cameron said.
“We’re going to still continue to have blips on the radar, we had three losses in a row.
“We know there’s a number of areas we’ve got to get better at.
“I think the most pleasing thing today was for those young kids in (Jack) Steele, (Rory) Lobb, (Tom) Downie and Zac Williams and Aidan Corr to understand what it takes to actually win a game of AFL footy.
“It’s our first significant win without “Mummy’ in the last two years, so that’s great for our young rucks but also for our midfielders as well.”
Cameron was also pleased that for the first time in recent weeks GWS performed well in both the contested possessions and tackling areas and was delighted with his defence.
The Saints had 10 more inside 50s and 16 more hit-outs but finished 18 down in contested possessions.
“They were just better than us: they were tougher, they were much better in the contest,” Saints’ coach Alan Richardson said.
Co-captain Callan Ward tallied 31 touches and Adam Treloar 30 for the Giants.
Jack Steven notched 29 disposals and Leigh Montagna 28 for the Saints, with former Giant Josh Bruce the only visitor to kick multiple goals, finishing with two majors.
Saints’ captain Nick Riewoldt finished the game with a sore calf, while GWS lost midfielder Dylan Shiel to a knee injury in the second quarter.
Saints ruckman Billy Longer was put on report for a late hit on Lachie Whitfield.