Stephen Coniglio celebrates a goal during the round 24 match between Carlton and Greater Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium on August 27, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

GREATER Western Sydney has ended Carlton's nine-game winning streak and secured a place in finals in one fell swoop, beating the Blues by 32-points at Marvel Stadium.

Giants captain Toby Greene kicked four goals to lead his side into finals, with the visitors posting a significant win, 16.9 (105) to Carlton's 11.7 (73) on Sunday evening to close out the 2023 home and away season.

BLUES v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

It wasn't all bad news for Carlton, however, as it took less than a quarter for Charlie Curnow (three goals, six marks) to sew up his second Coleman medal.

The spearhead kicked two goals in the space of four minutes to pull ahead of Adelaide's Taylor Walker, aided by the late withdrawal of star GWS defender Sam Taylor.

Without Taylor, the Giants defence stood strong in the face of repeated forward 50 entries from the Blues. Jack Buckley (six intercepts, three marks) was handed the job on Curnow, while Harry Himmelberg and Connor Idun each played important roles behind the ball.

Stephen Coniglio (28 disposals, six tackles, two goals), Tom Green (35 disposals, eight clearances) and Callan Ward (16 disposals, five clearances, one goal) were instrumental around the ball for the Giants.


Carlton looked like world beaters when the ball was on the deck, attacking the contest with speed and running in waves to support one-another as it worked it down the ground. Blake Acres was instrumental in setting the tone out on the wing, gathering 12 disposals in the opening term, and ultimately finishing with 21 before being subbed out with a suspected collarbone injury in the third term.

The composure of George Hewett (20 disposals, eight inside 50s, one goal) heading inside 50 was impressive as the former Swan seemed to slow time with ball in hand, while Sam Walsh (27 disposals, seven clearances) repeatedly put his body on the line to impact at the source.

When in control, the Giants slingshot the footy out of their back half and were finding space in attack as the likes of Jesse Hogan and Toby Greene exploited a defence that was without Jacob Weitering and Adam Saad for a large portion of the second quarter. The Carlton pair, both being checked by club doctors, made their way back on the field before the half-time siren.


In the second half, as the visitors began to run away with the game, the Blues took an all-or-nothing approach, attempting to use the corridor with speed but too often they were let down by rushed kicks or fumbled marks.

GWS fought, knowing what was on the line, and now looks toward an elimination final against the Saints in a fortnight. Meanwhile Carlton, already locked into the top eight for the first time since 2013, will host Sydney in the other own elimination final.


Curnow the Coleman medallist
It didn't even take a quarter for Charlie Curnow to tie up his second Coleman medal in as many years, kicking two goals within the opening 15 minutes. A late change for the Giants worked in his favour, with Sam Taylor withdrawn, leaving Jack Buckley to take on the spearhead. Coming into the game the Blue was just one goal behind Adelaide's Taylor Walker, and the Marvel Stadium roof threatened to blow off with the Carlton crowd's cheers whenever he got in the vicinity of the football. He is the first player to win back-to-back Coleman medals since West Coast's Josh Kennedy in 2015 and 2016.


Coniglio stuns in game 200
Becoming just the fifth Giant to reach 200 games, former captain Stephen Coniglio was back to his best, topped off with a stunning goal. Moving beautifully across the field, Coniglio registered 28 disposals and two goals as he did everything to secure the Giants a place in finals. But nothing was as impressive as his third-quarter goal. Up against the boundary Coniglio got on the end of a Lachie Keeffe handball out of a stoppage, before slotting it from the narrowest of angles and silencing the crowd.


The goal review hangover
Late in the second quarter, first year player Oliver Hollands thought he had kicked the best goal of his short career and put the Blues back in front, gathering the footy off a contest and sliding it through from deep in the pocket. But it wasn't to be. With both sides already re-setting in the middle a belated goal review revealed the ball had grazed the post on the way through, ultimately overturning the goal much to the disdain of the Carlton-heavy crowd.


CARTON                                              4.3    7.5    9.5   11.7 (73)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY              3.2    8.4    13.7   16.9 (105)

Carlton: Curnow 3, Owies 2, Cottrell, Martin, De Koning, Hewett, Durdin, Fisher
Greater Western Sydney: Greene 4, Riccardi 3, Coniglio 2, Ward, Keeffe, Hogan, Cuming, Lloyd, Brown, Daniels

Carlton: Hewett, Curnow, Dow, Acres, Walsh
Greater Western Sydney: Greene, Green, Coniglio, Ward, Daniels

Carlton: Acres (collarbone)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Carlton: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Toby McMullin replaced Sam Taylor (hamstring)

Carlton: Caleb Marchbank (replaced Blake Acres in the third quarter)
Greater Western Sydney: Nick Haynes (replaced Toby McMullin in the third quarter)

Crowd: 44,354 at Marvel Stadium