No panic for Cats as Giants' Greene inspires AFL upset

·3-min read
Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS

Geelong coach Chris Scott is refusing to hit the panic button despite a shock seven-point defeat to GWS putting another dent in his side's AFL premiership defence.

The Giants celebrated captain Toby Greene's 200-game milestone in style with a 12.9 (81) to 10.14 (74) victory on Saturday at GMHBA Stadium.

Greene kicked four first-half goals as Jake Riccardi and Brent Daniels combined for four crucial majors in the final quarter to stave off the home side's late challenge.

The result inflicted more pain on injury-hit Geelong (5-6), who have now suffered three-straight losses for the second time this season.

Tall defender Esava Ratugolea is the Cats' latest injury concern after being substituted off with a hamstring concern.

"It was a really frustrating night and we do feel like we are chasing our tail a little bit but I don't feel like that's a unique position within the competition at the moment," Scott said.

"We're not hiding away from the fact that we're not playing as well as we could but we think there are some pretty obvious reasons for that.

"We don't think we're in the position where we need to throw out what we're doing and start all over again."

First-year GWS coach Adam Kingsley heaped praise on his players, who seized control of the contest when Greene kicked three majors in a 4.2 to 1.2 second quarter.

Kingsley lauded the pressure-packed style of game that he is desperate to make the Giants' signature way of playing.

"If that can be the bar then that's going to turn us into a really good team," he said.

"Our challenge is to continually deliver on that with a relatively inexperienced group across the field surrounded by some really experienced guys."

Former GWS skippers Stephen Coniglo (26 disposals, seven clearances) and Callan Ward (19, seven) led from the front, while Lachie Keeffe limited Cats spearhead Tom Hawkins to one goal from 10 disposals.

Connor Idun also impressed in defence as Lachie Ash (26 touches) and Tom Green (28) gave important contributions in the middle.

Kieren Briggs had a big night in the ruck with 17 disposals, 34 hit-outs, eight clearances and a goal, which he celebrated with a tribute to a close friend who died during the week.

Daniels and Riccardi both finished with three goals, including two apiece in the last quarter.

The Cats trailed by 24 points at the nine-minute mark of the final term before Tyson Stengle and Oliver Henry combined with four of the next five majors, twice cutting the deficit to two points.

But Daniels' last goal steadied the Giants, who hung on in a tight finish.

"I was just so proud of the guys and their fight," Kingsley said.

"Our pressure and our ability to step into tackles was a real feature of our game."

Ratugolea was one of Geelong's best in the first half before limping from the field.

Tom Stewart (31 disposals) was the Cats' most prolific ball-winner, with Mark Blicavs (22 touches, seven clearances) and Tom Atkins (20, six) also busy.

Jeremy Cameron matched Henry and Stengle with two goals.