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Giants surge to second with win over fading Kangas

Highlights: North Melbourne v GWS The Kangaroos and the Giants clash in round 13

A MIDFIELD masterclass from Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly and three goals to Toby Greene on his return from injury have propelled Greater Western Sydney to a 23-point victory over North Melbourne in Hobart on Sunday afternoon.

The Giants took well over a half of footy to break the plucky Kangaroos but booted seven majors on the trot from midway through the third term to break clear and run out 14.7 (91) to 10.8 (68) winners at Blundstone Arena.

While Coniglio, Kelly, Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto feasted on stacks of Sherrin for GWS, the Kangaroos lacked their normal drive around the packs with Ben Cunnington kept unusually quiet in his 200th match by the close-checking Matt De Boer until a third-term shoulder injury curtailed the tagger's afternoon.

 

GIANTS CLIMB HIGHER Full match coverage and stats

Quick goals to Coniglio, Taranto and the impressive Brett Deledio saw GWS finally break the game open midway through the third quarter and when Jeremy Cameron kicked his first for the afternoon, they had opened an 18-point lead three minutes before the final break.

When Greene booted his third early in the final term the game was as good as won, allowing the Giants to rise to second on the ladder and consigning Rhyce Shaw to his first loss as North's interim coach.

 

Scores had been level at the long break with Taylor Garner's goal, the last of a combined eight majors in a seesawing second term, bringing the Kangaroos back to parity and suggesting they were every chance of maintaining the recent form that had seen them win three games on the bounce.

The Giants had been able to win clearances by 30-19 to half-time, no doubt helped by Shane Mumford's ability to tap the ball to advantage 12 times in the half to arguably shade his battle with North's in-form big man Todd Goldstein.

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The likes of Coniglio (27 disposals, two goals, seven tackles and seven clearances) and Josh Kelly (35 disposals, seven tackles and six clearances) feasted on Mumford's tap work and both kicked classy goals in the second term, Coniglio adding another special when he rolled a left-foot snap home to put the Giants back in front by a point 15 minutes into the third.

 

Had it not been for the likes of Marley Williams (seven intercepts) and Robbie Tarrant standing tall in defence to keep Cameron quiet, the Giants may have made far more of their midfield superiority. The Kangaroos had their own attacking weapons in Tarryn Thomas and Kayne Turner with two goals apiece to keep things in check on the scoreboard.

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Thomas, a North Launceston product, gave Kangaroos fans a glimpse of what they can look forward to with him in the side, first with a dead-eye set-shot from 50m in the first quarter and then with another composed shot following a telling mark from three deep, midway through the second quarter.

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As it was, the Giants' ability to win the ball and then dominate possession for long periods was too much for North to compete with and there was only ever going to be one outcome for most of the second half.

North Melbourne's first loss under interim coach Shaw could have added pain attached as star forward Ben Brown was reported for striking Matt Buntine with a raised elbow.

 

MEDICAL ROOM
North Melbourne:
Ben Brown pulled up sore following a first-quarter marking contest and spent time being assessed on the bench during the third term but was able to run out the game without too many problems.

GWS Giants: De Boer came off second best in a clash with Cunnington in the third term and spent the final quarter on the bench in his tracksuit following assessment at three-quarter time. Jeremy Finlayson looked sore after a first-quarter collision but was able to run out the match.

NEXT UP
Both North Melbourne and GWS have the bye in round 14 and return to face Collingwood and Essendon respectively the following week. Both fixtures will be at Marvel Stadium with the Giants and Bombers lighting up the Thursday night slot and North squaring off against the Magpies on the Saturday evening.

NORTH MELBOURNE 3.0       7.3       8.6       10.8 (68)
GWS GIANTS              3.2       7.3       11.6     14.7 (91)

GOALS
North Melbourne:
Brown 2, Thomas 2, Turner 2, Ziebell, Garner, Dumont, Larkey
GWS Giants: Greene 3, Coniglio 2, Hopper, Tomlinson, Williams, Kelly, Taranto, Deledio, Cameron, Himmelberg, Finlayson

BEST
North Melbourne: Anderson, Thomas, Williams, Tarrant
GWS Giants: 
Kelly, Coniglio, Taranto, Hopper, Greene, Mumford

INJURIES
North Melbourne:
Nil
GWS Giants: de Boer (shoulder)

Reports: Brown (NM) reported for striking Buntine (GWS)

Umpires: Rosebury, Brown, Williamson, Mollison

Official crowd: 7832 at Blundstone Arena