After years of waiting and patient preparation, the time had come. Saturday was the day of destiny, when the
Greater Western Sydney Giants took their place among the teams in the AFL. ANZ Stadium was the venue, with
the Giants taking on cross-town rivals the Sydney Swans.
Few pundits gave the newcomers a chance. The TAB were offering the Giants a 90 points start, with many experts
predicting a triple figure winning margin for the Swans. With 17 Giants making their AFL debut, the club fielding
the youngest team in the history of the AFL, surely it had to be a mismatch.

Despite the possibility of a lopsided contest, a crowd of 38,204 turned up – a figure that, depending on one’s
outlook, sees the glass half empty of half full. Some may have expected more, some less; and no doubt that
number will be analysed in greater detail in other articles.
Ticketek tried an interesting innovation in selling tickets for the match, asking everyone whether they were Giants
or Swans. Although there was no need for segregation from a security perspective, the southern end of the
ground was decked out in orange with the northern end in red, like a divison in Parliament. But although the
Swans had enough numbers to win the vote, it was no landslide.

Before the game, the Giants unveiled their mascot, G-Man. A cartoonish Giant, with too much hair product and
enormous teeth in a delirious grin, G-Man is sure to be a hit with the kids. After his on-field appearance, G-Man
was signing autographs and making appearances in the childrens’ time-out centre behind the aisle at the
southern end of the ground.
The teams burst through their banners. Both sides and the crowd respectfully observed a minute’s silence in
memory of AFL great Jim Stynes. The national anthem was sung; and then it was game time.

Finally the game got under way. The Swans started quickly, putting the Giants’ defending to the test. But they rose
magnificently to the challenge, with Chad Cornes putting on an inspirational smother to stop a goal, similar to
Heath Shaw stopping Nick Riewoldt in the grand final replay. But despite the Giants’ desperate defence, the
Swans soon had three goals on the board.
The Giants moved the ball forward, and it was marked on a tight angle by Curtly Hampton. Tall, slim and quick like
a West Indian Curtly; the Alice Springs-born Hampton brought up the Giants’ first score, a behind. Shortly
afterwards, co-captain Callan Ward received a handpass and played on to carve himself a place in the history
books as the Giants’ first goal-scorer. It would be the Giants’ only goal of the first term, with the Swans leading by
17 points at quarter time.
But despite the Giants being behind on the scoreboard, their fans were in voice. Led from the Cheer Squad
behind the goals, the calls came up. “Are you ready? Give us a G! G! Give us an I! I!” and so on. “What does it
spell? GIANTS!!!”. It was their team song in the NEAFL last year before their new was written for their entry to the
AFL. Orange flags waved and a few banners were raised.

Two early goals for the Swans started the second term, but suddenly the Giants came to life. A solid mark by
Nathan Wilson saw the Giants’ second goal; and less than a minute later Will Hoskin-Elliott played on to score
another. The atmosphere lifted in intensity, “Let’s go Giants, let’s go” reverberating around the ground.
The Giants were contesting every possession, James McDonald landing a solid hit on Luke Parker; while
marquee signing Israel Folau moved into the ruck for his best period of play for the evening. For a fleeting
moment, momentum was favouring the newcomers; but Shane Mumford steadied the Swans with a goal from a
tight angle, and the Swans led by 24 points at the long break. The Giants had been hard at the ball, making the
Swans work hard; but too many times they couldn’t find any options on the half-forward line, managing only three
goals for the half.
Any hopes of the Giants pulling off a fairytale comeback win on their AFL debut were blown out of the water
in a devastating burst by the Swans at the start of the third term. Lewis Jetta was a star for the Swans
during that period of play, with a virtuoso soccer-style goal. Jetta scored two goals and Josh Kennedy two
as the Swans had five unanswered goals in the first twelve minutes of the quarter. And there could have
been another; when Kieran Jack’s shot clearly hit the post but the goal umpire was about to award the
goal before being over-ruled by the field umpire, who sent the decision upstairs for the first video replay
under the AFL’s new rule.
The Giants had been under pressure, the Swans scoring at will during those twelve minutes. The
inexperienced Giants could so easily have panicked, capitulated and allowed the floodgates to open,
conceding the 100 plus margin that had been predicted. But they didn’t.
The remainder of the third term wasn’t pretty to watch, but it was character-building for the young Giants.
Maybe over-using the ball in defence, they chipped the ball to themselves, switching play as they worked
hard to keep the ball at all costs. But they managed to stop the bleeding on the scoreboard, stopping the
Swans from running in for easy goals; and the Swans would only manage one more goal for the night.
Not that the crowd were discouraged by the threatened blowout. The Giants’ fans had waited a long time
for this day, and it was a win for them just to be there. They weren’t expecting to win, but continued to make
plenty of noise for their team. “We are the Giants. The mighty mighty Giants. And if they can’t hear us, we’ll
shout a little louder” came out from the vocal fans behind the goals.

But that period of play at the start of the third term had blown the margin out to 64 points, and there would
be no way back for the young Giants. Goals from set shots to Jonathan Giles and James McDonald in the
last quarter would see the Giants claw back one point of the deficit in the last term to win the quarter; but it
was the familiar strains of “Cheer cheer the red and the white” that rang out after the final siren.

A 63-point win for the Swans. They had played a solid game, unspectacular but getting the job done in the
way the Swans have so often before. The Swans will be up there when the business end of the season
takes place, and they’ll have plenty more comfortable wins this year. It’s a relief for any team to get the four
points in the opening round, and first-up bragging rights in the first Sydney Showdown go to the Swans.

But for the Giants, there were positives. Many of the young kids that were brought in for their first AFL game
stood up and relished the challenge. The Giants fought and contested every possession, and although out
of their depth in terms of experience, they showed plenty of ticker; especially after the Swans got the run-on
in the third quarter and the margin could so quickly have blown out to embarrassing levels.
It’s a base to build on for the Giants. Not a great performance, to lose by ten goals; but enough positive
passages of play to show the Giants how to be competitive against the top sides. Not a great crowd, but
enough to show interest is there and support can be cultivated. It lays a foundation, but the work to build
the club and the team is far from complete.

But when foundations are laid, and laid well, success can come. Swans with long memories can look
back to the early 1990s when the club fumbled and bungled their way to three straight wooden spoons. In
those days it was the Swans, like the Giants of today, who were clutching at straws looking for positives.
But through persistence and planning, the turnaround came quickly; and two years later the Swans were in
a Grand Final.
Will the Giants quickly build to success? Time will tell.
Click here to see Harboursport's photo gallery from this match.
Sydney                                            4.1        8.4        13.8        14.16 (100)
Greater Western Sydney            
      1.2        3.3         3.4            5.7 (37)
Goals : Sydney - J Kennedy 2, C Bird 2, L Jetta 2, J McVeigh, A Everitt, K Jack, G Rohan, B
McGlynn, J Bolton, L Roberts-Thomson, S Mumford.
GWS Giants - C Ward, N Wilson, J Giles,
W Hoskin-Elliott, J McDonald.
Best : Sydney - C Bird, K Jack, L Jetta, J Bolton, J Kennedy, S Mumford. GWS Giants - A
Kennedy, C Cornes, C Ward, T Greene, R Palmer, J McDonald.
Injuries : Sydney - Nil. GWS Giants - Nil.
Substitutions : Sydney - L Parker replaced by H Cunningham in the third quarter. GWS
Giants -
D Shiel replaced by D Tyson in the third quarter.
Reports - Nil. Umpires - Stevic, Meredith, Mollison.
Crowd - 38,203 at ANZ Stadium.
 
Play
Won
Draw
Lost
For
Agnst
Pts
%age
Strk
Sydney
1
1
0
0
100
37
4
270.27
W1
GWS Giants
1
0
0
1
37
100
0
37.00
L1
Adelaide
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Brisbane
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Carlton
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Collingwood
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Essendon
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Fremantle
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Geelong
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Gold Coast
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Hawthorn
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Melbourne
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
North Melbourne
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Port Adelaide
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Richmond
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
St Kilda
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
West Coast
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
Western Bulldogs
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 
HARBOURSPORT PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
GWS Giants v Sydney - C Bird (Syd) 8.5, K Jack (Syd) 5.5, A Kennedy (GWS) 4, L Jetta (Syd) 3.5, C Cornes
(GWS) 2, J Bolton (Syd) 2, J Kennedy (Syd) 1.5.
LEADING GOALKICKERS :
2 - Josh Kennedy (Syd)
2 - Craig Bird (Syd)
2 - Lewis Jetta (Syd)
1 - Andrejs Everitt (Syd)
1 - Ben McGlynn (Syd)
1 - Callan Ward (GWS)
1 - Craig Bird (Syd)
1 - Gary Rohan (Syd)
1 - James McDonald (GWS)
1 - Jonathan Giles (GWS)
1 - Jude Bolton (Syd)
1 - Kieran Jack (Syd)
1 - Lewis Jetta (Syd)
1 - Lewis Roberts-Thomson (Syd)
WEEK 1 FIXTURES
Michael Shillito's tips in bold (1/1 to Date)

Thursday 29th March
Richmond v Carlton (7:45pm, MCG)
Friday 30th March
Hawthorn v Collingwood (7:50pm, MCG)
Saturday 31st March
Melbourne v Brisbane (1:45pm, MCG)
Gold Coast v
Adelaide (4:45pm, Metricon Stadium)
Fremantle v
Geelong (7:45pm, Patersons Stadium)
North Melbourne v
Essendon (7:45pm, Etihad Stadium)
Sunday 1st April
Western Bulldogs v West Coast (1:10pm, Etihad Stadium)
Port Adelaide v
St Kilda (4:40pm, AAMI Stadium)
HARBOURSPORT PLAYER OF
THE YEAR - Standings
Craig Bird (Syd) - 10
Jude Bolton (Syd) - 7
Matthew Boyd (WBul) - 7
Sam Mitchell (Haw) - 7
Jack Riewoldt (Rich) - 6.5
Lance Franklin (Haw) - 6.5
Scott Thompson (Adel) - 6.5
Lewis Jetta (Syd) - 6
Kieran Jack (Syd) - 6
Adam Schneider (Syd) - 6
Tendai Mzungu (Freo) - 6
Clinton Jones (St K) - 5.5
Jack Redden (Bris) - 5.5
Photo Galleries:
Sydney v PortAdelaide(20/5/07)
Sydney v Essendon (2/6/07)
Sydney v Carlton (15/7/07)
Melbourne v Sydney (5/8/07)
Sydney v St Kilda (11/8/07)
Sydney v Port (Trial, 23/2/08)
St Kilda v Sydney (22/3/08)
Kangaroos v Essendon(24/3/08)
Sydney v Port Adel (30/3/08)
Sydney v West Coast (12/4/08)
Sydney v Essendon (18/5/08)
Sydney v Richmond (1/6/08)
Richmond v Adelaide (7/6/08)
Sydney v St Kilda (14/6/08)
Melbourne v Sydney (22/6/08)
Sydney v Collingwood (5/7/08)
Sydney v Adelaide (26/7/08)
W Bulldogs v Sydney (3/8/08)
Sydney v Fremantle (9/8/08)
Sydney v Geelong (16/8/08)
Elim Final - Syd v Kang (6/9/08)
Grand Final Parade (26/9/08)
Blacktown Update (31/12/08)
NAB - Port v Sydney (22/2/09)
Trial - Sydney v B'dogs(7/3/09)
Sydney v Hawthorn (4/4/09)
Carlton v Essendon (11/4/09)
Sydney v Carlton (18/4/09)
Sydney v Richmond (3/5/09)
Blacktown Update (9/5/09)
Sydney v West Coast (16/5/09)
Sydney v Port Adel (24/5/09
Essendon v Adelaide (10/6/09)
Blacktown Update (5/7/09
Sydney v Essendon (11/7/09)
Sydney v Geelong (15/8/09)
Sydney v Brisbane (29/8/09)
Grand Final Parade (25/9/09)
NAB - Sydney vCarlton(20/2/10)
Trial - Sydny v Ess'don (6/3/10)
Sydney v St Kilda (27/3/10)
Essendon v Fremantle (4/4/10)
Sydney v Richmond (10/4/10)
W Bulldogs v Sydney (15/5/10)
Essendon v Geelong (12/6/10)
Sydney v Collingwood (26/6/10)
Sydney v Nth Melb (10/7/10)
Sydney v Hawthorn (7/8/10)
NAB - GWS/Syd/GCst (19/2/11)
Essendon v Coll'wood (25/4/11)
Sydney v Richmond (12/6/11)
Sydney v Collingwood (25/6/11)
GWS Giants v Sydney (23/7/11)
Sydney v W Bulldogs (23/7/11)
GWS Giants v NT T'dr (6/8/11)
NAB - GWS/WBul/Coll (18/2/12)
NAB - Sydney v NMelb (3/3/12)
GWS Giants v Sydney (24/3/12)
Sydney v Fremantle (7/4/12)
GWSGiants v WCoast (15/4/12)
2012 Grand Final - Pre-Game
2012 Grand Final - Game Pics
2012 Grand Final - Post Game
ALSO IN AFL:

Round 10 2007 Scoreboard
Round 11 2007 Scoreboard
Round 12 2007 Wk1 S'bd
Round 12 2007 Wk2 S'bd
Round 13 2007 Scoreboard
Round 14 2007 Scoreboard
Round 21 2007 Scoreboard
Round 22 2007 Scoreboard
2008 Pre-Season Week 1
2008 Pre-Season Week 2
2008 Pre-Season Week 3
2008 Pre-Season Week 4
Round 1 2008 Scoreboard
Round 2 2008 Scoreboard
Round 3 2008 Scoreboard
Round 4 2008 Scoreboard
Round 5 2008 Scoreboard
Round 6 2008 Scoreboard
Round 7 2008 Scoreboard
Round 8 2008 Scoreboard
Round 9 2008 Scoreboard
Round 10 2008 Scoreboard
Round 11 2008 Scoreboard
Round 12 2008 Scoreboard
Round 13 2008 Scoreboard
Round 14 2008 Scoreboard
Round 15 2008 Scoreboard
Round 16 2008 Scoreboard
Round 17 2008 Scoreboard
Round 18 2008 Scoreboard
Round 19 2008 Scoreboard
Round 20 2008 Scoreboard
Round 21 2008 Scoreboard
Round 22 2008 Scoreboard
2008 Finals Week 1
2008 Finals Week 2
2008 Preliminary Finals
2008 GRAND FINAL
2009 Pre-Season Week 1
2009 Pre-Season Week 2
2009 Pre-Season Week 3
2009 Pre-Season Week 4
Round 1 2009 Scoreboard
Round 2 2009 Scoreboard
Round 3 2009 Scoreboard
Round 4 2009 Scoreboard
Round 5 2009 Scoreboard
Round 6 2009 Scoreboard
Round 7 2009 Scoreboard
Round 8 2009 Scoreboard
Round 9 2009 Scoreboard
Round 10 2009 Scoreboard
Round 11 2009 Scoreboard
Round 12 2009 Scoreboard
Round 13 2009 Scoreboard
Round 14 2009 Scoreboard
Round 15 2009 Scoreboard
Round 16 2009 Scoreboard
Round 17 2009 Scoreboard
Round 18 2009 Scoreboard
Round 19 2009 Scoreboard
Round 20 2009 Scoreboard
Round 21 2009 Scoreboard
Round 22 2009 Scoreboard
2009 Finals Week 1
2009 Finals Week 2
2009 Preliminary Finals
2009 GRAND FINAL
2010 Pre-Season Week 1
2010 Pre-Season Week 2
2010 Pre-Season Week 3
2010 Pre-Season Week 4
Round 1 2010 Scoreboard
Round 2 2010 Scoreboard
Round 3 2010 Scoreboard
Round 4 2010 Scoreboard
Round 5 2010 Scoreboard
Round 6 2010 Scoreboard
Round 7 2010 Scoreboard
Round 8 2010 Scoreboard
Round 9 2010 Scoreboard
Round 10 2010 Scoreboard
Round 11 2010 Scoreboard
Round 12 2010 Scoreboard
Round 13 2010 Scoreboard
Round 14 2010 Scoreboard
Round 15 2010 Scoreboard
Round 16 2010 Scoreboard
Round 17 2010 Scoreboard
Round 18 2010 Scoreboard
Round 19 2010 Scoreboard
A Tale of Two Matches
Round 20 2010 Scoreboard
Round 21 2010 Scoreboard
Round 22 2010 Scoreboard
2010 GRAND FINAL
GWS Giants Launch - Nov10
2011 Pre-Season Week 1
2011 Pre-Season Week 2
2011 Pre-Season Week 3
2011 Pre-Season Week 4
2011 Pre-Season Week 5
Round 1 2011 Scoreboard
Round 2 2011 Scoreboard
Round 3 2011 Scoreboard
Round 4 2011 Scoreboard
Round 5 2011 Scoreboard
Round 6 2011 Scoreboard
Round 7 2011 Scoreboard
Round 8 2011 Scoreboard
Round 9 2011 Scoreboard
Round 10 2011 Scoreboard
Round 11 2011 Scoreboard
Round 12 2011 Scoreboard
Round 13 2011 Scoreboard
Round 14 2011 Scoreboard
Round 15 2011 Scoreboard
Round 16 2011 Scoreboard
Round 17 2011 Scoreboard
Round 18 2011 Scoreboard
2012 Pre-Season Week 1
2012 Pre-Season Week 2
2012 Pre-Season Week 3
2012 Pre-Season Week 4
2012 Pre-Season Week 5
Opener 2012 - GWS v Syd
Round 1 2012 Scoreboard
Round 2 2012 Scoreboard
Round 3 2012 Scoreboard
Round 4 2012 Scoreboard
Round 5 2012 Scoreboard
Round 6 2012 Scoreboard
2013 Pre-Season Week 1
2013 Pre-Season Week 2