GREATER Western Sydney has continued its mid-season revival, but Sunday's win over Gold Coast has come at the expense of a hamstring injury to superstar Toby Greene.
>> WATCH THE MATCH HIGHLIGHTS IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
Greene left the field late in the first quarter, pulling up short following a chase at half-forward, and did not return.
Midfielder Matt de Boer also came off in the dying second of the match with a suspected hamstring injury.
GIANTS CLIMB INTO EIGHT Full match coverage and stats
The Giants were far too good for a terribly flat Suns outfit, winning 9.7 (61) to 4.11 (35) to temporarily move into the top eight.
But Greene's injury in particular sours the victory. Following the match Greene said "hopefully it's only minor".
GWS’s second straight win was built on the back of a dominant midfield, led by returning speedster Zac Williams (26 disposals) and inside bulls Jacob Hopper (26), Tim Taranto (21 and a goal) and skipper Stephen Coniglio (20 and one goal).
Lachie Whitfield (29) and Josh Kelly (29) were able to flourish with more space in the second half.
The Giants led by 13 points at quarter and half-time, 18 at the final change and kicked four goals in the last term to round out a victory in which they were rarely troubled.
It was a professional performance to back up a last-start win over premier Richmond.
Gold Coast was listless in front of its home crowd.
A team that prides itself on pressure was well down, affecting just 13 tackles in the first half and 38 for the day and losing the contested possession count by 20.
Fullback Sam Collins fought a lone hand in defence, while co-captain Jarrod Witts battled hard all day.
How long will Toby miss?
When Toby Greene jogged from the field late in the first quarter, the hearts of every Giants fan would have skipped a beat. The severity of his right hamstring injury could well have an impact on how far GWS goes in 2020. They were able to account for the listless Suns and, thankfully for the Giants, they have winnable matches in the coming weeks – not that anything is a given in this crazy season. On Friday night they play undermanned Essendon at Metricon Stadium, and then following a bye, travel to Perth to play Sydney.
Welcome back Zac
The Giants have been criticised for their one-paced pedestrian play for long stretches of 2020, but the return of Zac Williams from a hamstring injury instantly changed that. His willingness to run-and-carry and offer 'one-twos' for his teammates instantly gave the Giants a more dynamic look. Williams finished with 26 disposals and gained a team-high 436m. He was the perfect complement for Hopper, Taranto and Coniglio.
Too many passengers for the Suns
Gold Coast has been one of the feel-good stories this season and built its improvement on high pressure and quick ball movement. Apart from a few familiar faces leading the way, there was just too many passengers. The midfielders were the main culprits with co-captain David Swallow unusually quiet, as was vice-captain Touk Miller and dynamic Lachie Weller. The ball movement was also sloppy and gave the forward line precious few clean opportunities.
GOLD COAST 0.3 2.4 2.7 4.11 (35)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.4 4.5 5.7 9.7 (61)
Gold Coast: Ainsworth, King, Swallow, Weller
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 2, Himmelberg 2, Coniglio, Finlayson, Hopper, Kelly, Taranto
Gold Coast: Collins, Witts, Bowes, Ainsworth
Greater Western Sydney: Whitfield, Williams, Taranto, Hopper, Haynes, Corr
Gold Coast: Nil
Greater Western Sydney: Greene (hamstring), de Boer (hamstring)