Josh Kelly celebrates a goal during the round 18 clash between Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval on July 15, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

A RED-HOT Greater Western Sydney has overrun Adelaide for the second time this season to secure a fifth victory on the trot with a 14-point triumph at Adelaide Oval.

The Giants booted all five goals of a gripping final term to snatch a stirring 10.11 (71) to 8.9 (57) win on the road and climb over the Crows to the brink of the top eight.

CROWS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

Skipper Toby Greene sparked the Giants’ comeback with the first major or the final term, but it was veteran Daniel Lloyd that booted the sealer in a fiery clash on Saturday night.

The Crows led by 17 points at the last change but were then held goalless as the Giants again surged past them after overcoming an early 31-point deficit against the same team in round one.


Lachie Whitfield was sublime in his 200th AFL match for the Giants, collecting 28 disposals and 425 metres gained, while Josh Kelly bounced back from a rare quiet game with 28 touches and nine clearances.

Kelly added the second goal of the final term and Greene finished with three majors as the Giants (9-8) confirmed their finals credentials and moved up to ninth place.


"Lachie Whitfield's 200th tonight, and you ask the guys to play like Lachie with a bit of courage and dare and that's exactly what you get to a man,” Giants coach Adam Kingsley said.

"That's probably a reflection of how much the group and the club loves Lachie Whitfield.

"But that's a common theme amongst all of our more experienced players, they want to be successful both individually but more importantly as a group."

The Crows (8-9) missed an opportunity to reclaim a spot in the top eight with just their third loss from 10 matches on home turf this season to spoil former captain Rory Sloane’s 250th match.

Current skipper Jordan Dawson (27 disposals) battled hard for the Crows along with Rory Laird (33, one goal) and Brodie Smith (27), but they ultimately paid the price for failing to take their chances in a heated contest.


A fired-up Josh Rachele was involved in a running battle with Harry Perryman and the Crows will also be sweating on the review of a report for the young gun's high hit on Jack Buckley.

The two finals contenders went goal-for-goal early with the Crows’ key forward Riley Thilthorpe slotting a set shot after the siren to grab the lead at the first change.

The Crows pulled away with three goals to none in the second term as their midfield got on top, then held the Giants at arm’s-length until the visitors stunned them with a final-term fightback.


"I think our opposition took their game to another level which was higher than ours,” Crows coach Matthew Nicks said.

"I'm not saying that we were really poor, but it was a long way from our best, a long way, which is the most disappointing part."

GWS next hosts Gold Coast at Manuka Oval on Sunday, while Adelaide will be out to turn around its form on the road when it faces Melbourne at the MCG the same day.


All Kingsley's men are putting Giants together
There's never been any question of the talent on Greater Western Sydney's list, but for some reason it only ever came together on rare occasions. However, Adam Kingsley seems to have brought something different into play. 'Club pride' may be a bit strong, but Saturday's win was the Giants' fifth in a row and up there with the defeat of Melbourne as a stirring, do-it-for-the-jumper effort. The League's youngest club has taken its time to find itself, but Kingsley seems to be growing the seeds of identity and once something knows what it is, it knows what it's fighting for.

GWS players celebrate after the round 18 clash between Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval on July 15, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Josh Rachele has an anger button
Coaches love their players to be passionate and the first-quarter goal celebration from Josh Rachele was loaded with emotion. However, there's a downside to wearing your heart on your sleeve and Rachele showed it in the second term. He let his temper take control after being on the wrong end of an over-exuberant tackle from Harry Perryman then, when taken high five minutes later by the same Giant again he lashed out, first chasing down Perryman then appearing to strike Jack Buckley when he came in to remonstrate, the officiating umpire putting him in the book immediately. In a fiery contest Matthew Nicks will love seeing players fly the flag, but he won't be happy if one of his young stars misses important games as a consequence.


Milestone men with plenty to share
It was a night of personal milestones for two popular club stalwarts, with Rory Sloane (250 games) and Lachie Whitfield (200) each starting the night running through personalised banners. While 50 games separates them, the Victorian pair have had similar careers: both drafted interstate to become one-club players, each with an All-Australian blazer, two club best and fairests and with shared experiences of big Grand Final losses to Richmond. While opposition players don't sit down for beers after a game anymore, there'll be plenty for Sloane and Whitfield to chat about when their careers come to an end.

Rory Sloane leads out teammates before the round 18 clash between Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval on July 15, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos


ADELAIDE                                    4.3    6.5    8.8    8.9 (57)
3.4    3.6    5.9    10.11 (71)

Adelaide: Walker 2, Thilthorpe, Rachele, McAdam, Laird, Jones, Keays
Greater Western Sydney: Greene 3, Himmelberg, Hogan, Kelly, Cadman, Brown, Fahey, Lloyd

Dawson, Laird, Murphy, Smith, Hinge
Greater Western Sydney:
Kelly, Greene, Whitfield, Taylor, Coniglio, Perryman

Adelaide: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Greater Western Sydney:
Finn Callaghan (hip) replaced in selected side by Aaron Cadman and Conor Stone replaced in selected side by Jacob Wehr.

Ned McHenry (replaced Shane McAdam in the fourth quarter)
Greater Western Sydney:
Josh Fahey (replaced Aaron Cadman in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 36,674 at Adelaide Oval