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Match report: Bomber blitz sinks Giants

Highlights: GWS v Essendon The Giants and Bombers go head to head in round 10

ESSENDON sprang its second straight upset and extended Greater Western Sydney's losing streak to four with a 35-point triumph on a smoky night at Spotless Stadium.

Hazard-reduction burning in the Blue Mountains meant the dour arm-wrestle was played out amid a pungent plume, which got worse as proceedings progressed.

The injury-ravaged Giants trailed by 17 points at quarter-time, nine at the half and five at the final change before Essendon kicked clear to win 14.11 (95) to 8.12 (60).

In a game where goals were hard to come by, Bombers defender Mark Baguley proved an unlikely avenue to the big sticks, slotting two majors in the first term and another in the last. Recruit Jake Stringer also booted three goals for the winners.

With their noses in front at the final change, the Bombers – led by David Zaharakis (33 disposals) and captain Dyson Heppell (28 touches) – broke the game open with six goals to one in the last term.

BOMBERS FLY UP Full match coverage and stats

Leading by less than one straight kick, goals to James Stewart, Shaun McKernan, Zaharakis and Baguley ensured the Bombers took the points.

GWS coach Leon Cameron said Essendon's pressure was a deciding factor in the result, especially early in the last quarter when it kicked four straight goals.

"The one thing that hurt us all night was the tackle count, and they out-tackled us during that seven- or eight-minute period when they banged on four goals," he said.

"That was disappointing because that hasn't been the major issue over the past three or four weeks, but it reared its head tonight.

"They capitalised and put us to bed."

The victory keeps Essendon in the hunt for the top eight – two games and percentage outside the finals.

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However, coach John Worsfold was not getting carried away with his side's resurgence.

"We've got a lot of hard work ahead of us to become a great team," he said.

"Getting to know each other and a bit of belief is part of that – and some confidence.

"There's been some steps forward in that regard but in terms of how we want to play our footy, we'll keep working hard at that."

GWS onballer Stephen Coniglio made the game his own with 32 possessions, including 18 contested, plus a unique celebration to top off an outstanding goal from near the boundary line.

Heath Shaw was also imposing across half-back with 34 touches for the Giants.

Coniglio's direct opponent, Zach Merrett, also had his moments, while former Giant Devon Smith enjoyed the outing against his old side, finishing with 21 disposals and 13 tackles.

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Callan Ward had 34 touches for GWS, including 20 contested possessions and five inside-50s.

Essendon's lead was 22 points when Brendon Goddard dribbled one through from long range early in the second, but the Giants pegged them back.

Harry Himmelberg had a chance to put the home side in front for the first time early in the last with an angled set shot from 40m out.

At that stage, it appeared the Giants had the momentum, but the visitors had other ideas.

MEDICAL ROOM
Greater Western Sydney: Tim Taranto finished the game on the bench nursing a quad injury, however coach Leon Cameron described his absence in the dying stages as "precautionary".

Essendon: Essendon appeared to escape the contest with a clean bill of health.

NEXT UP
GWS faces a tough trip to the City of Churches to play the Crows next Sunday while Essendon will be coming off a six-day break when it hosts Richmond at the MCG on Saturday night.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     2.3    5.6    7.9      8.12 (60)
ESSENDON     5.2    7.3    8.8    14.11 (95)

GOALS
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 2, Buckley 2, Coniglio, Patton, Griffen, Langdon
Essendon: Baguley 3, Stringer 3, Zaharakis, Smith, Goddard, McGrath, Langford, Fantasia, McKernan, Stewart

BEST 
Greater Western Sydney: Coniglio, Ward, Shaw, Hopper, Kelly
Essendon: Heppell, Zaharakis, Merrett, Baguley, Smith, Saad

INJURIES 
Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Essendon: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Rosebury, Dalgleish, Haussen

Official crowd: 10,789 at Spotless Stadium