Giants make winning AFL debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Giants make winning AFL debut

06/02/2011 07:31:52 AM Comments (0)

Greater Western Sydney Giants made a winning start to their existence with a nine-point victory over an AFL Sydney under-21 side at a stifling Monarch Oval in Sydney on Saturday.

With the mercury soaring close to 43 degrees at the Campbelltown ground, officials debated whether to proceed with the Giants' very first competitive match of any type.

But the game went ahead and GWS secured a 8.7 (55) to 7.4 (46) victory.

"We thought about taking the game away from the players, but in the end playing the game was really good for us," said Giants coach Kevin Sheedy.

The quarters were split in half with two-minute water breaks seven-and-a-half minutes into each term.

Curtly Hampton, who missed out on playing for the Indigenous All Stars after Friday night's match in Alice Springs was cancelled, enjoyed the distinction of kicking the Giants' first goal.

Five minutes in, Hampton marked and played on and kicked accurately from 40 metres.

Gerald Ugle, the other GWS player who was chosen in the Indigenous All Stars squad, was among the best for the Giants.

Isiah Stevens was the only multiple goalkicker for GWS, landing three majors.

GWS trailed 2.1 to 2.0 at quarter time, but hit back to lead 5.2 (32) to 5.1 (31) at the long break.

The Giants increased their advantage to eight at the final change, leading 6.5 (41) to 5.3 (33).

Sheedy said the game presented him with a great opportunity to see where his team, most of whom are still teenagers, could play.

"They may have been able to play in certain positions in the under-18, but we wanted to have a real mix today," Sheedy said.

"You have to start somewhere. It's the first step, it's the right step for us to play this game.

"We're going down to Canberra next week which will be another important couple of steps."

High-profile recruit Israel Folau did not turn out as he remained on the injury list.

The Giants will play an ACT age group selection in their second hitout next weekend before participating in the NAB Cup.

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