Sam Taylor and Jesse Hogan after the round two match between West Coast and Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium, March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER Western Sydney coach Adam Kingsley says his undefeated team will be careful to avoid complacency as it heads into an early-season bye on the back of a 65-point win against West Coast that cemented the club's best ever start to a season.

The Giants' have been the form team of the AFL alongside rival Sydney, sitting atop the ladder as they enter their first week off for the season having put 100 points or more past Collingwood, North Melbourne and now West Coast in convincing wins.

Kingsley, who was proud of his team's ability to hit the road and win for the first time this season, said the 2023 preliminary finalists and 2024 premiership favourites would train as normal next week before their weekend off, with a 2-1 Gold Coast waiting on the other side. 

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"It will be a different challenge. Clearly complacency and feeling pretty happy about how we're playing or what we're doing will be something that we'll need to avoid," Kingsley said on Sunday night.  


"The moment that we move away from the way that we want to play, we won't get the results that we want. We're fully aware of that.

"We continue to challenge each other around making sure we prepare as well as we possibly can each week and go out there and play as best as we possibly can and see where it takes us."

The Giants strangled West Coast through the middle stages of Sunday's win, keeping their opponents goalless in the second and third quarters while piling on a run of eight consecutive goals that split the game open following a competitive start.


Kingsley said his team had been intent on ramping up its pressure, laying 83 tackles to 64, and the players' ability to be harder for longer was eventually rewarded with a rare Optus Stadium win. 

The coach paid tribute to young forward Aaron Cadman, who pushed through soreness to kick a game-high three goals, including the last of the match after a brilliant contested mark deep in attack.


"He's progressing really well. I've been really happy with him," Kingsley said of the No.1 Draft pick. 

"You know he wasn't quite 100 per cent today coming into the game. We had a little bit of concern around just a bit of soreness in his glutes.

"But for him to be able to perform at the level with that little bit of doubt, I think it's a reflection of his mindset and his mental toughness and he still contributed really strongly for us. The bye will be a nice weekend off for him."

West Coast coach Adam Simpson was looking at the positives after a second defeat to start the season, highlighting improvement in the team's contested ball efforts (138-148) and a competitive last quarter.

Fundamental skill errors repeatedly undid the Eagles' hard work, however, and were punished the other way as the team conceded 11 goals off turnovers.

"We turned some balls over that you probably couldn't defend, and throughout the game it was like we were this close to breaking through and we got hurt the other way," the coach said.


"It was basic fundamentals when we brought a bit of speed into the game. That was good for a quarter and a half, but I think halfway through the second to halfway through the third we just lost our way. I was really proud of the last quarter."

With No.1 ruckman Matt Flynn and co-captain Oscar Allen sidelined through injury, the Eagles are running out of options in the tall forward posts, with second-gamer Harry Barnett called on to ruck against Kieren Briggs on Sunday so Bailey Williams could move forward.

The structure was changed in the second half when Barnett was substituted, but it meant key forward Jack Darling had little tall support in attack, going goalless and taking one mark as Sam Taylor (nine intercept marks) dominated the Giants' backline.

"Harry Barnett is 19 so you've just got to give these guys some exposure. I thought he did his bit … and he would have learned a lot today," Simpson said of his young ruckman.

Kieren Briggs competes with Harry Barnett during the round two match between West Coast and Greater Western Sydney at Optus Stadium, March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"And then Bailey is probably someone we need forward at the moment."

On Darling, Simpson said: "The effort was there, it's just not getting rewarded at all at the moment, and he's got some work to do to get himself into form.

"We need him to play well. Obviously, we're going to miss Oscar for a fair while, so we'll keep working on that as best we can. We know what his best looks like and we'll do everything we can to get him there."