Greater Western Sydney have shown they are ready to hang with the AFL big dogs after celebrating their 100th game with a 42-point-win over local rivals Sydney.
A surge either side of halftime set up a 15-15 (105) to 9.9 (63) victory, just their second win in ten Sydney derbies.
The result on Sunday at Spotless Stadium snapped the Giants two-match losing skid and a three-match Swans winning streak.
A win would have put Sydney top, but they were second best for most of the game, which was viewed by a crowd of 21,541, a record for a sporting fixture at the ground since it’s redevelopment.
The Giants won the midfield battle and got more drive out of defence through Brett Kirk medallist Heath Shaw, Zac Williams and Nathan Wilson.
From a 23-23 tie early in the second quarter the Giants kicked seven of the next eight goals to lead by 40.
After quiet first halves both Josh Kennedy and Lance Franklin lifted and got the Swans back into the game as Sydney notched the last three goals and 20 points of the third quarter to cut the deficit by 20 at the last change.
However Sydney couldn’t get the deficit below 20 in a final term in which the Giants Sam Reid marked his first game in over 1000 days with a goal.
GWS finished 20 up in contested possessions, 49 more disposals and nine more inside 50s.
The Swans were hit by injuries to two in-form players, with Kurt Tippett leaving the field in the second quarter and speedster Gary Rohan sitting out the final quarter.