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Giants put the heat on Saints in Blacktown

Giants walk off after defeating the Saints at the 2013 NAB Cup round 04 match between the GWS Giants and the St Kilda Saints at Blacktown International Sportspark, Sydney. (Photo: Craig Golding/AFL Media)
The Giants walk off after closing their pre-season with a 16-point win over the Saints at Blacktown
You've got to get killer instinct into your game and slowly but surely, we'll get that
Kevin Sheedy
GREATER Western Sydney is finally developing a killer instinct.

That's the view of coach Kevin Sheedy after the Giants beat St Kilda by 16 points at Blacktown on Saturday. 

One week after copping a 16-goal hammering from Essendon, the Giants rebounded to defeat a nearly full-strength Saints' side 16.6 (102) to 12.14 (86) after running out the final quarter stronger. 

After being disappointed by the Giants' narrow pre-season losses to Friday night's grand finalists the Brisbane Lions and Carlton, Sheedy said the hard-fought nature of the win was the biggest positive.  

"It was a very important point that we get across the line to these players that when you get the opportunity, take the game," Sheedy said afterwards. 

"That's a learning procedure that you've got to get killer instinct into your game and slowly but surely, we'll get that.

"They actually fought it out, the boys did, and it was pleasing from that point of view.

"When the game was there, we actually took back the game and the winning of the ball even, we had probably 60 or 70 so more possessions, and they're a good side, St Kilda."

Sydney turned on a muggy, 33-degree afternoon for the final weekend of pre-season action, with players needing ice vests and seeking shade during the breaks.

And the Giants handled the steamy conditions better, running out the final quarter with six goals to three.

Midfielders Toby Greene and Callan Ward were instrumental in the second half, and especially in the last quarter when the lead changed four times before Will Hoskin-Elliot – in his first game for the pre-season – put the Giants in front with a goal. 

They didn't look back from there, with Dylan Shiel, Lachie Plowman and Liam Sumner rounding out the game with goals to put the result beyond doubt.  

Stephen Coniglio was also excellent for the Giants although his effectiveness was reduced at times by veteran Saint Lenny Hayes in the last quarter.

Forward Jeremy Cameron got the Giants off to a terrific start with three goals in the first quarter but didn't manage another for the game, although he did continue to present. 

For the Saints, Jack Steven was excellent with plenty of possessions, including 14 to half-time, while Farren Ray and Leigh Montagna also impressed. 

Veteran backman Jason Blake was strong in defence with six marks in the first two quarters while first-year player Nathan Wright did his chances of a round one debut no harm with an impressive game off half-back.

The Saints attacked hard in the game's opening stages but the Giants' backline showed composure to withstand the initial surge. 

Cameron's bag saw the home side hold a three-point lead at the first change and the Giants retained the upper hand at half-time, although a goal to Beau Maister on the siren cut the margin back to 10 points.

Devon Smith collected plenty of the ball for the Giants, while Coniglio got going in the second quarter and contributed with some nice touches and a goal. 

St Kilda's Jack Newnes played with intensity and kicked the goal late in the third quarter that levelled the scores before they took a one-point lead into the fourth.

St Kilda coach Scott Watters refused to blame the warm conditions for the Saints' fade out but conceded there had been an "accumulation of load" for them after all their pre-season games were played in plus-30 degree heat. 

He said he wouldn't head into round one concerned over the result and the Saints were pleased with what they'd got out of the pre-season competition as a whole. 

"I think you need to look at your pre-season in its entirety, or the NAB Cup series in its entirety," Watters said. 

"We got really good minutes into our players, we now have an opportunity to freshen up and I think if you probably look at GWS's side after nine or 10 players freshen up in a week and come back, you see how they're bouncing over the top of the ground.

"I'd much rather be preparing for round one than preparing for NAB four."

The Giants end their pre-season with two wins and three losses while the Saints have three victories and two defeats. 

Both teams reported no injuries from the game. Jonathon Patton was rested from the last quarter and Nick Riewoldt was reported to have been icing his knee after the game, which Watters said was a routine procedure. 

GWS           4.2    8.5    10.5    16.6 (102)
ST KILDA  3.5    6.7    9.12    12.14 (86)

Greater Western Sydney:
Cameron 3, Greene 2, Ward, Whitfield, Smith, Coniglio, Giles, Reid, Treloar, Hoskin-Elliot, Shiel, Plowman, Sumner
St Kilda: Maister 2, Milera, Montagna, Riewoldt, Gilbert, Armitage, Dennis-Lane, Ray, Newnes, Steven, Milne

Greater Western Sydney:
Greene, Ward, Treloar, Cameron, Coniglio, Smith, Plowman
St Kilda: Steven, Ray, Armitage, Montagna, Maister

Greater Western Sydney:
St Kilda: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Hosking, Pannell, Mitchell