HARRY Himmelberg has had a final two minutes to remember, taking a spectacular contested mark, kicking the winning major and making a desperate save on the goal line to seal a two-point win for Greater Western Sydney over Hawthorn.

It was a case of death by a thousand cuts for the Hawks, the Giants kicking 4.6 in the final term to lock up the 10.17 (77) to 11.9 (75) come-from-behind victory at Norwood Oval.

GIANTS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats

Himmelberg soared high above James Sicily 30m out from goal, directly in front, and steadied his nerves to take the win with 90 seconds remaining.


Jarman Impey looked to have pinched back the game with a late bomb from 50, but Himmelberg – thrown down the other end for the final minute – saved the day with a back-bending touch on the goal line, checked by the goal review as nervous Hawthorn fans chewed fingernails.


Hawthorn generally moved the footy with more fluency down the ground in the first 1.5 quarters, but GWS's defence – led by Sam Taylor and Jack Buckley – stood firm, the Hawks unable to add to their opening two goals until the final six minutes of the half.


The Giants looked to expose the Hawks' slightly smaller defence, with Jesse Hogan and Himmelberg throwing their weight around despite fewer opportunities in attack, piling on five straight goals across the first half.

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Tom Green – playing game No.50 – was once again one of GWS' best in the first half, controlling play in the stoppages and kick-starting the Giants' attack. Conor Nash was tasked with a stricter shutdown role after the main break, holding him to 12 disposals after 20 in the first half.

Harry Himmelberg takes a spectacular mark over James Sicily in the dying seconds the round five match between GWS and Hawthorn at Norwood Oval on April 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

As a consequence, Stephen Coniglio took the reins after the main break, finishing with 31 possessions, while skipper Toby Greene was never far from the action with 24 and three goals.


All eyes were on No.1 pick Aaron Cadman on debut, but Hawthorn's debutant Seamus Mitchell – who has done it the hard way, being reassigned to the rookie list – had an assured first game at half-back with 17 disposals.

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Karl Amon kicked two goals playing on the wing, while former delisted free agent Fergus Greene played a key role across half-forward for the Hawks, moving smoothly, setting up teammates and kicking three goals himself.

Fergus Greene celebrates a goal with teammates during Hawthorn's round five match against GWS at Norwood Oval on April 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

The Hawks have battled fade-outs this season but started to control play in the third term, kicking four consecutive goals to take an eight-point lead to three-quarter time.

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Chad Wingard suffered a nasty lacerated tongue late in the second term, was pulled from the game and sent to hospital.

Tom Green's slinging, spinning tackle on Josh Ward late in the second quarter may be looked at by the MRO.


No.1 Cadman makes AFL debut
After a series of strong VFL performances to start the year, GWS pulled the trigger on bringing No.1 draft pick Aaron Cadman into the side, dropping Jake Riccardi to make way. Lining up as the third tall alongside Hogan and Himmelberg, Cadman took a strong contested mark to open his AFL account, before a neat kick on the outside of his left boot, close to goal, saw him kick his first major.


Hawks' defensive lapses continue
For the fifth consecutive week, the Hawks conceded a run of five straight goals to their opposition. While such runs are hardly surprising for a young developing team, particularly one which off-loaded a number of senior players in the off-season, it's sure to be an area of focus for coach Sam Mitchell and his team.


Fergus Greene is back in the big time
Greene played for the Western Bulldogs from 2017-20, managing just five games over that period before his delisting. He subsequently moved to VFL side Box Hill, kicking an impressive 83 goals from just 26 games, and the Hawks promoted him to their senior list ahead of the 2023 season. In the absence of talls Mitch Lewis (ACL) and the out-of-favour Jacob Koschitzke, the 183cm Greene played his best game at the top level with three goals from nine touches and seven marks, as well as a very canny tap behind his head to Tyler Brockman for a goal.



GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     2.2     5.7     6.11   10.17   (77)
HAWTHORN                               2.3     4.5     8.7     11.9     (75)

Greater Western Sydney:
Greene 3, Hogan 2, Himmelberg 2, Cadman, Ward, Lloyd
Hawthorn: Greene 3, Amon 2, Breust, Newcombe, Sicily, Long, Brockman, Moore

Greater Western Sydney: Green, Coniglio, Taylor, Greene, Himmelberg, Cumming
Hawthorn: Newcombe, Worpel, Impey, Greene, Nash, Brockman

Greater Western Sydney:
Hawthorn: Chad Wingard (tongue), Breust (corked glute)

Greater Western Sydney:
Harry Rowston (replaced Adam Kennedy at three-quarter time)
Hawthorn: Cam Mackenzie (replaced Chad Wingard at half-time)

Crowd: 9,057 at Norwood Oval