GWS aces Greene, Hogan fire in win over Gold Coast

Steve Larkin |

Despite losing his bearings this time, Jesse Hogan was a guiding force as GWS beat the Suns.
Despite losing his bearings this time, Jesse Hogan was a guiding force as GWS beat the Suns.

Coach Adam Kingsley is warning his unbeaten GWS to avoid getting carried away after reclaiming top spot on the AFL ladder with a 28-point defeat of Gold Coast.

Attacking aces Toby Greene (five goals) and Jesse Hogan (four) fired in the 18.9 (117) to 13.11 (89) win at Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills in Sunday’s Gather Round game.

While the Suns (2-2) have now lost consecutive matches, Kingsley’s Giants are top after a fourth successive victory.

“We have got tremendous belief in the way that we play and the people that we have,” Kingsley said.

“Four and zero is a great start but we’re under no illusions that there’s still five months of footy left.

“We need to continue to build and grow, improve our game.

“We’re going to be challenged at different times throughout the season, as we know, and we’ve got a lot of work to get to where we want to be.”

Jesse Hogan is up-ended in a contest.
Despite losing his bearings on this occasion, Jesse Hogan was a driving force for the Giants. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

The Giants led by nine points at quarter-time, two at halftime, and eight at three quarter-time before powering away with five goals to two in the final term.

Greene and Hogan highlighted a multi-faceted attack: Callum Brown kicked three goals, and Jake Riccardi and Stephen Coniglio (28 disposals) scored two.

Harry Himmelberg (26 possessions) and Lachie Whitfield (29 touches) were defensive forces, while midfielders Coniglio, Josh Kelly (27) and Tom Green (23) were influential.

The Giants’ all-round display drew praise from Suns coach Damien Hardwick, defeated in his first duel as a head coach with his one-time protegee Kingsley at Richmond.

“We just didn’t take our chances at some various stages,” Hardwick said.

“The last quarter was disappointing and the Giants, there’s a reason why they’re where they are and where they’ve been.

“They were just too good. There’s a reason they’re now four-zip. When they went, we couldn’t go with them.”

Mac Andrew takes a high mark.
Mac Andrew was among the Suns’ best, with 24 disposals and one soaring mark. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Gold Coast defender Mac Andrew was eye-catching with 24 disposals and 10 marks, while on-ballers Noah Anderson (32, one goal), Matt Rowell (26 touches, one goal) and Sam Flanders (29) impressed.

Spearhead Ben King kicked three goals and Malcolm Rosas snared two in two minutes late in the third term to briefly give the Suns the lead.

Hardwick had axed seven players in a brutal response to a 48-point hammering from the Western Bulldogs, including senior players Brandon Ellis, Alex Sexton, Connor Budarick, Levi Casboult and Ben Long.

Sam Taylor and Ben King collide.
Ben King (R) led the Suns’ scoring despite close attention from Sam Taylor (L) and other Giants. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Hardwick said he was heartened by a trio of first-gamers, Sam Clohesy, Ethan Read and Will Graham.

Clohessy, Read and second-gamer Jed Walter banked their first AFL goals.

“They looked really good at various stages,” Hardwick said.

“Sam was outstanding on the wing and Will Graham looked very composed and poised and tough.

“And Ethan Read, for a key position player, together with Jed Walter … they will get great learnings out of playing against guys like Sammy Taylor and (Harry) Himmelberg and those types.

“They have got a long way to go with the understanding of the game … but they’ll take a big step forward, I think, after today’s game.”