Toby Greene looks dejected after Greater Western Sydney's loss to Essendon in round nine, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

GREATER Western Sydney coach Adam Kingsley has told the Giants they must "sharpen up" after a loss to Essendon on Saturday marked their third defeat in four games.

The Giants were in good touch early before being well beaten by the Bombers, who ran out 20-point winners at Marvel Stadium.

BOMBERS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

After starting the season with five straight wins, GWS has lost three of its past four, going down to Carlton, Sydney and Essendon.

And Kingsley is desperate to see improvement from his team, which fell to fifth on the ladder with a 6-3 win-loss record.

"I just don't think we're playing our best footy and we've been beaten by three pretty good teams," he said.

"Each of those teams you'd expect to finish in the top four to top six, I would imagine. What the feedback to us has been is that we're not quite at that level right at this moment and that's OK.


"But we do need to sharpen up our game and make sure that by the end of the season we're playing our best footy. Our challenge between now and then is to be able to generate enough wins to actually qualify for finals, that's our first objective, and based on our last month of footy we're going to fail to do that so we need to address a couple of things.

"I think today we were beaten by a more desperate team, last week we were beaten by a more desperate team so we need to tidy up some of that, we need to tidy up some of our fundamentals."

The Giants kicked four goals to one in the opening term against the Bombers, but had no answers when Essendon ramped up the pressure.


Kingsley gave credit to Essendon, which extended its unbeaten run to five games and spoiled Giants veteran Callan Ward's 300th game.

"We did look sharp early. I was happy with our start. Essendon regrouped at quarter-time, raised their pressure and we didn't cope with it," he said.

"I thought after quarter-time we probably missed some opportunities under their perceived pressure, their pressure definitely created a lot of opportunities for them. It was very good.

"I think they were 2.0 after quarter-time which is an outstanding pressure number and then they were far better than us in the contest. Their one on ones or two on two, it just felt like they had an advantage. Either it was their follow-up work where they were able to win it or the next man in.

"We weren't able to rectify that really at all after quarter-time."


Essendon's win came after its last meeting with the Giants resulted in a humiliating 126-point defeat in round 23 last year.

Bombers coach Brad Scott said his side's ability to turn the game after the Giants' fast start was pleasing.

"I think it's just a good step forward for our group in terms of maturity that one, we didn't panic, and two, we were able to address what wasn't working for us," he said.

"And we were able to not only stem the flow, but turn the tide."


Nic Martin (31 disposals) was prolific again and Mason Redman (26 and a goal) and Andy McGrath (24) also had strong games.

Martin was moved to half-back at the start of this season and Scott hailed the 23-year-old, but said his whole defence was getting the rewards.

"He's been terrific. We'd like to play him in a whole lot of different positions all at the same time," he said.


"What's probably underestimated is what it's allowing a whole lot of other players to do. I think Mason Redman's been super for us, Andy McGrath is in career-best form, the defence has been very, very solid throughout the year and pleasingly going to get better.

"'Marto' has been fantastic, but he would say himself it's just great to be part of a back six or seven that's playing a cohesive style of footy."