Jesse Hogan celebrates a goal during round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GREATER Western Sydney has blown away Carlton with a nine-goal blitz then hung on in the dying stages to breathe fresh life into its campaign with a 12-point triumph at Engie Stadium.

The Giants trailed the Blues by as much as 39 points in the opening term but in a stunning turnaround then booted 14 of the next 16 goals to set up a 18.8 (116) to 16.8 (104) win on Saturday night.

The Blues made a late charge to reduce the margin to two goals with less than four minutes remaining but the Giants were able to hold on to clinch a victory that lifts them back into the top eight.


Jesse Hogan was dominant in the air with five majors and six contested marks, as the Giants brushed off their scoring woes that had seen them score fewer than 80 points in their past eight matches.

GIANTS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

The Giants spearhead might have had a bigger haul as he passed off some gettable shots before the Blues’ belated fightback, after making the most of lining up against an out-of-sorts Blues defence with Jacob Weitering restricted by a corked thigh.

There were few hints of the Giants goal rush that was to come when Harry McKay got the Blues off to a flying start with three majors in the opening 12 minutes of the match.


Former GWS defender Zac Williams then added three goals of his own as the Blues piled on eight majors for the highest-scoring opening term for any side this season.

But after the Blues had dominated the clearances 18-7 in the opening term, the Giants got the game back on their own terms as their intense pressure and rapid ball movement flipped the contest.

Giants ruck Kieren Briggs (22 disposals, 10 clearances, 40 hitouts) was critical to the change of fortunes after lowering his colours early to Tom De Koning (24, 11, 20), while Tom Green (33 disposals, six clearances, one goal) and Stephen Coniglio (28, six, one) started to win more of the ball at stoppages.


Brent Daniels (29, 11 tackles) and Finn Callaghan (24) added a spark and polish for the Giants, while skipper Toby Greene booted two goals when the match was still on the line early.

Giants forward-turned-tagger Toby Bedford clamped down on Sam Walsh for much of the match and limited the Blues midfielder to 22 disposals while gathering 16 and booting a goal himself.


Bedford later moved to run with Patrick Cripps as the Blues skipper threatened to carry his side towards their own comeback with 33 disposals and two goals.

Key forward McKay finished with five goals but Charlie Curnow was well held and only found a single goal late in the game as the Blues’ winning streak was snapped at five matches.


Bedford blankets star Blues duo
Toby Bedford has already taken on some of the biggest assignments in the game since moving into a run-with role but is unlikely to have faced two of the best midfielders going around in the one match. The forward-turned-tagger lined up on Sam Walsh from the opening bounce and mostly limited his opponent’s impact while finding enough of the ball and booting a goal himself. Bedford was later sent to Patrick Cripps as the Blues skipper set out to make it a tense finish even while the Giants stopper showed that he can challenge all types of onballers.

Toby shows strong signs of return to form
The skipper stepped up when the Giants needed him to as the Blues powered away with eight goals in the opening term. Greene booted the Giants first major amid the Blues’ blitz, then added another to start the second term and spark his own side’s goal rush. The dynamic forward finished with those two goals to now have 24 in 15 matches this season, but more importantly showed strong signs that he is returning to the sort of form that gives the Giants hope that they can make an impact in the run home.

Zac sends Giants a reminder from Blues’ attack
Zac Williams broke through as a dashing defender across 113 matches with GWS before heading to Carlton as a free agent at the end of 2020. The 29-year-old had been hit hard by injury in his first two years with his new club, as he had been at times with the Giants, but has been rejuvenated as a high-pressure forward in recent weeks. Williams booted three goals in the first term to send his former club a reminder of his many talents, and now has 14 in seven matches since making the move to add to the Blues’ firepower in attack.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY            3.1       10.2      17.6      18.8 (116)
CARLTON                                           8.4       10.4      11.6      16.8 (104)

Greater Western Sydney: Hogan 5, Greene 2, Cumming 2, Ward 2, McMullin, Jones, Coniglio, Riccardi, Bedford, Thomas, Green
Carlton: McKay 5, Williams 3, Cripps 2, Kennedy 2, Cerra, Fantasia, Curnow, Acres

Greater Western Sydney: Hogan, Green, Briggs, Ward, Daniels, Callaghan, Whitfield
Carlton: Cripps, McKay, Newman, Kennedy, De Koning

Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Carlton: Nil

Greater Western Sydney: James Peatling (replaced Leek Aleer in the fourth quarter)
Carlton: Matt Owies (replaced Orazio Fantasia in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 11,730 at Engie Stadium