A fourth-quarter burst to secure a nine-point win over Carlton has catapulted the GWS Giants into the AFL top eight for the first time since round 11.
- The Demons could find themselves outside the top eight at the end of the round
- They were made to pay for wasteful kicking on goal, with 10 behinds among their 16 scoring shots
- It was the Swans’ fifth win of the season
The Giants’ win meant Melbourne dropped to ninth place on the ladder, after the Demons were earlier on Thursday on the end of a 21-point defeat to the Sydney Swans in Cairns.
Wasteful on goal for much of the match, the Giants found their range in the final term to overhaul a 15-point three-quarter deficit and secure a vital 6.12 (48) to 5.9 (39) victory over the Blues in on the Gold Coast.
Jake Riccardi sparked the final-quarter surge with two goals, as the Giants made the most of Melbourne’s slip-up against Sydney to leapfrog the Demons into eighth place.
After Riccardi started the quarter with back-to-back goals, further majors to Harry Perryman and Ian Hill secured the win for the Giants.
The defeat essentially ends any hope the Blues had of making the finals, as they sit eight points behind the Giants with three matches to play, while they also have an inferior percentage.
The Blues had looked likely winners after a scrappy first three quarters, with a four-goal first term enough for them to hold a lead at every change.
The Giants were their own worst enemy, kicking just one goal in the first half and having the unenviable score of 2.11 (23) at three-quarter time.
The Blues dominated the third term, earning 17 inside 50s but they could only register one goal from Marc Murphy.
That inability to kick away from the Giants proved costly, as last year’s grand finalists ran over the top of the Blues in the final quarter to mark veteran ruckman Shane Mumford’s 200th AFL appearance with a win.
Nick Haynes was the Giants’ best with 21 disposals and eight marks.
Sam Walsh had a match-high 23 disposals for the Blues, who are back at Carrara on Tuesday to play the Swans.
The Giants are also in action on Tuesday and will be keen to cement their top-eight spot when they travel to South Australia to face last-placed Adelaide.
Demons disappoint in Cairns
The Demons failed to consolidate their spot in the top eight, as the Swans cruised to a 10.7 (67) to 6.10 (46) victory at Cazaly’s Stadium.
Following a confidence-boosting three-point victory over fellow finals contenders St Kilda last Saturday night, Melbourne put together a dismal second quarter on Thursday to trail by 28 points at half-time.
The injury-hit Swans did as they pleased through the middle, with co-captains Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy at their dominant best, as the Demons’ pressure was near non-existent.
Swans youngster Justin McInerney broke through for his first career goal, and quickly added a second just before the main break to stun Simon Goodwin’s team.
Melbourne lifted its intensity in the second half, however the Swans’ defensive game stood up as the Demons kicked the solitary goal of the third term.
Parker’s second major three minutes into the last quarter lifted the Swans back out to a 28-point lead before Melbourne began to look threatening.
Ed Langdon had a chance to cut the deficit to nine points with six minutes remaining but the Demons midfielder hooked his set shot from 25 metres out.
Sydney then immediately switched it down the other end of the ground, as small forward Lewis Taylor iced the Swans’ fifth win of 2020.