Jesse Hogan celebrates a goal during Greater Western Sydney's clash against Collingwood in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER Western Sydney has sent an early warning shot across the competition with a resounding 32-point victory over reigning premier Collingwood on Saturday night.

The 'Orange Tsunami' was flowing as the Giants surged away with nine of 11 goals either side of half-time to blow away the Magpies for an 18.6 (114) to 11.16 (82) triumph in front of 21,235 fans at Engie Stadium.

GIANTS v MAGPIES Full match coverage and stats

Emerging forward Callum Brown sparked the Giants early with three goals in the first term and finished with a five-goal haul in a breakout performance. 

GWS spearhead Jesse Hogan booted four majors and goalsneak Brent Daniels also added an equal career-high four as the Magpies' injury-riddled defence struggled to deal with the onslaught.


But the Giants' win has come at a cost with former skipper Callan Ward watching the second half from the bench after injuring a shoulder when brought to ground heavily in a tackle.

Ward was wrapped up by Beau McCreery after gathering a ground ball in the Pies' forward half, the 296-match veteran soon running from the field in discomfort and subbed out at the main break.


But there was no slowing down the Giants' midfield and dashing defence. Tom Green (30 disposals, nine clearances, one goal), Stephen Coniglio (28, four clearances) and Kieren Briggs (14, six) won the ball at the coalface, while Josh Kelly (32, one goal), Lachie Ash (25) and Lachie Whitfield (33) were sublime on the outside.

Brayden Maynard was one of few Magpies backs who could hold their head high, shutting down Giants skipper Toby Greene while also adding plenty of run with 16 disposals and a late goal. 


While the Giants' brisk ball movement put the Pies backline under pressure, the visitors' forwards were left battling ahead of slow and steady progress up the field until a run of consolation goals late in the match.

Brody Mihocek finished with three goals and a couple of near misses, while Bobby Hill kicked two majors on his return to Engie Stadium for the first time since moving from the Giants to the Pies.

Nick Daicos (34 disposals, one goal) and brother Josh (28) battled hard even as the Magpies were put to the sword, while Darcy Cameron (20, two) was immense in the ruck.


In a see-sawing first half reminiscent of last year's preliminary final that the Pies snatched in a one-point thriller, both sides enjoyed periods of momentum without putting their opponents away.

It was little surprise when Nick Daicos set up the Pies' first goal of their premiership defence with a deft pass on the outside of the boot to Mihocek, the key forward swinging onto his right to snap truly.

But it was Brown and the Giants from there as last year's preliminary finalists made a firm statement to start their 2024 campaign.

Maynard takes the points against old foe
Brayden Maynard went straight to Toby Greene from the opening bounce and barely moved away from the GWS star over the next four quarters. Maynard paid Greene the utmost respect while also adding drive whenever possible from the Pies' defence. Sparks flew early in the second term when Maynard tackled the Giants' skipper high and instigated a wrestle to slow the ball down, and the hard-nosed defender won the battle from there with more disposals (16-15), marks (9-3) and tackles (5-0) while restricting Greene to one goal.

Future is bright for Irish Giant 
Callum Brown first announced himself with two goals in a shock win over Geelong in just his second AFL match in 2021, but only became a regular in the Giants' side last year with 19 goals in 19 matches. Even with eye-catching signs of potential, the former Gaelic football prodigy was able to fly under the radar and boot the Giants' opening three goals against the Pies. The first came when the Magpies failed to stand the mark and allowed Brown to run to within range and bomb a 55m drop punt, while the next two both arrived as the 23-year-old found space all alone inside 50. Brown can expect to come under closer attention from here but there is enough to suggest the Irishman's future is as bright as his fluorescent orange boots.


Schultz blows hot and cold in Pies debut
There was no standing still for Collingwood after clinching its 16th premiership last year as its moved for Lachie Schultz in the Trade Period. The former Fremantle goalsneak impressed in his club debut with the Pies, adding a spark in their forward half while gathering 15 disposals and five inside 50s. Schultz booted at least 30 majors in his last two seasons with the Dockers but will want to straighten up his kicking with his new club after managing only three behinds against the Giants. 


GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY           5.2     10.5     14.5     18.6 (114)
COLLINGWOOD                                3.6     6.10     6.13     11.16 (82)

Greater Western Sydney: Brown 5, Hogan 4, Daniels 4, Cadman 2, Kelly, Greene, Green
Mihocek 3, Hill 2, Cameron 2, Mitchell, McCreery, Maynard, N.Daicos

Greater Western Sydney: Brown, Green, Hogan, Daniels, Kelly, Coniglio, Ash, Whitfield
N.Daicos, Cameron, Maynard, J.Daicos, Schultz, Lipinski 

Greater Western Sydney: Ward (shoulder)

Greater Western Sydney: Toby McMullin (replaced Callan Ward in the third quarter)
John Noble (replaced Tom Mitchell in the third quarter)

Crowd: 21,235 at Engie Stadium