Jesse Hogan and Brent Daniels celebrate a goal for GWS against St Kilda in round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

INJURIES to star players Sam Taylor and Stephen Coniglio have soured Greater Western Sydney's fifth win of the season, with the Giants holding off a fast-finishing St Kilda by just one point at Manuka Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Four consecutive second-half goals saw the Giants break away and position themselves for a fifth straight win that has solidified their spot at the top of the ladder.

GIANTS v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats

But they received an almighty late scare, with the Saints kicking the final six goals of the match to almost turn around a 35-point deficit and trail by a solitary point with 41 seconds left.

But a heroic late mark in defence from Giants substitute James Peatling helped secure the victory, with Adam Kingsley's side winning 11.14 (80) and 12.7 (79) to maintain their unbeaten start to the year.


The late run produced a scoreboard that probably flattered St Kilda, who were well beaten before their late surge gave them a puncher's chance against a Giants side that was hit hard by injury.

Taylor was taken to hospital after a sickening head injury in the first quarter before Coniglio suffered a knee injury late in the match. The star midfielder has been cleared of any serious issue, with Kingsley labelling the injury "not minor, but not serious".


St Kilda forward Max King, who wasn't able to take advantage of Taylor's absence for most of the match, also suffered a knee injury late in the game and finished on the bench. Similarly, the Saints will send him for scans but are confident there is no serious damage.

Taylor was knocked out in a sickening accidental head clash with Jack Steele in the first quarter, with the game halted by almost 10 minutes as he received medical attention and was stretchered off the ground. He was later taken to Canberra Hospital for assessment but was cleared of serious injury.

The defender will miss at least next week's blockbuster against Carlton, while the Giants will be holding their breath for good news on Coniglio.

Josh Kelly (ribs) and Kieran Briggs (shoulder) were also sore during the match.

Forwards Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan found two goals each for GWS, with the latter's set shot seconds before three-quarter time putting the Giants into what seemed to be a match-winning 29-point lead.

Four Saints kicked two majors including Anthony Caminiti, whose two goals both came deep in the fourth quarter as his side bolted home.


Canberrans Tom Green and Jack Steele locked horns in an engaging head-to-head battle on home turf, with the GWS star perhaps just edging the contest of the inside midfielders.

Green, who slotted a brilliant snapped goal on the run early to stamp his authority on the game, finished with 24 touches and five clearances, with teammate Lachie Whitfield racking up a game-high 34 disposals.


Steele returned fire with his own goal in the third term to spark a mini-fightback before the Giants took over.

St Kilda forward Mitchito Owens had an eventful second term, kicking two goals before spraying an easy chance way wide as his side looked to cut their deficit.


He also took a mark of the year contender over Aaron Cadman, but chipped his subsequent kick straight to Hogan for an easy goal.

Saint Bradley Hill was in dynamic touch and finished with 33 disposals and a goal, while ruck Rowan Marshall put in a monstrous game that included 16 clearances and 10 inside 50s.


Taylor injury a sobering moment
The battle for four points well and truly took a back seat on Saturday after star Giants defender Sam Taylor was knocked out in a sickening collision in the first quarter. Play was suspended for almost 10 minutes while the All-Australian received treatment and he was given warm applause from a sold-out crowd as he was stretchered off the ground. The incident was difficult to watch, so much so that the broadcaster rightfully decided against showing any replays while he received treatment. In good news, Taylor regained consciousness in the rooms and was talking to medical staff before being taken to Canberra Hospital for further assessment.


Super subs lead the way in the last
Hugo Garcia only had a quarter and a bit to make an impact on debut, but the young Saint did plenty to secure a spot in the starting side next week. The youngster was instrumental in St Kilda's late surge, putting plenty of pressure on a tiring Giants side, laying six tackles and picking up 11 disposals in a strong first-up showing. The Saints have a strong core of young players coming through, and you can add Garcia's name to the list. Not to be outdone, GWS sub James Peatling also performed well after coming on in the first term to replace Taylor, including a courageous game-saving mark in the final minute of the game.

Lachie Whitfield is tackled by Hugo Garcia during the match between GWS and St Kilda in round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Nothing better than the Giants in transition
The Orange Tsunami is terrifying to watch for opposition supporters, but for Giants fans - and even the neutrals - there aren't many better sights in the game. Every time the Giants got out the back of a contest and were able to storm through the middle of Manuka Oval on Saturday, a score looked inevitable. Faced with stunning pace and precision ball movement, the Saints' defence was left scrambling whenever the Giants found some space, and they aren't the only defensive unit in the League to have no answers to Adam Kingsley's men when they're in the mood.


GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     4.4.    7.6   10.10    11.14 (80)
ST KILDA     1.3     4.5     6.5      12.7 (79)
Greater Western Sydney: Hogan 2, Greene 2, Thomas, Riccardi, Kelly, Green, Daniels, Coniglio, Cadman
St Kilda: Owens 2, Membrey 2, Higgins 2, Caminiti 2, Wilson, Steele, Sinclair, Hill

Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Green, Ash, Greene, Bedford
St Kilda: Hill, Marshall, Steele, Owens, Garcia, Wilkie
Greater Western Sydney: Taylor (concussion), Coniglio (knee), Kelly (ribs), Briggs (shoulder)
St Kilda: King (knee)
Greater Western Sydney: James Peatling (replaced Sam Taylor in the first quarter)
St Kilda: Hugo Garcia (replaced Dan Butler in the third quarter)

Crowd: 12,448 at Manuka Oval