GWS busted through their Perth hoodoo after holding off a late Fremantle comeback to post an 18-point win in Saturday night’s AFL clash at Domain Stadium.
The Giants led by 30 points midway through the third quarter, but the margin was cut back to 11 after Danyle Pearce scored a brilliant dribbling goal 17 minutes into the final term.
However, GWS held their nerve when the game was at its hottest in the dying minutes, with a late Tom Scully goal adding icing to the cake in the 14.11 (95) to 11.11 (77) win in front of just 28,201 fans.
The result left the Dockers with a 0-7 record heading into next week’s clash with Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium.
In contrast, GWS are shaping as a legitimate top-four contender after moving to 5-2.
GWS entered Saturday’s match having never won in Perth, with the fledgling club losing all six of their matches there by an average of 84 points.
But with Stephen Coniglio (32 possessions, two goals), Josh Kelly, Heath Shaw, and Steve Johnson all playing key roles, it was a happy ending for GWS this time around.
Fremantle created plenty of attacking opportunities, especially in the third quarter when they won the inside-50m count 21-7.
But the Giants’ forwards were far more efficient, making the most of their chances to put scoreboard pressure on throughout the night.
The teams couldn’t be split in an entertaining opening term.
But while Fremantle were forced to work hard for their goals, GWS looked potent every time they went forward.
And the floodgates finally opened in the second term once the Giants’ midfield got on top, with the visitors piling on five unanswered goals at one point to open up a comfortable lead.
Fremantle’s defence struggled to deal with the onslaught.
And in a comical five-minute period, the Dockers felt so penned into their defence that they kicked it out of bounds on the full in the same area on four separate occasions.
Fremantle trailed by 20 points at half-time, and they needed to capitalise on their opportunities in the third term if they were to get themselves back into the match.
But despite dominating much of the play, the Dockers managed just 2.6..
At the other end, GWS nailed 3.2 from limited chances to keep Fremantle at arm’s length heading into the final change.
The Dockers’ spirit couldn’t be faulted, and they launched a final assault in the last quarter.
But it wasn’t enough to steal the win.