Giants edge valiant Cats in arm-wrestle

GREATER Western Sydney has kept its extremely slim finals hopes alive with a seven-point win over Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.

Alyce Parker continued her impressive form with 25 disposals, while the Giants were also well served by Elle Bennetts and captain Alicia Eva with 18 touches each.

CATS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats

GWS looked to be on top early in the second term after veteran forward Cora Staunton kicked the Giants’ second goal of the game.

But the rest of the second term was played predominantly on Geelong’s terms, with the Cats applying enormous front-half pressure.

AFLW Match Highlights: Geelong v GWS

03:46 Mar 20. 2021. 3:43 PM

The Cats and Giants clash in round eight of the NAB AFL Women's competition

However, Geelong failed to take advantage of its 11-3 inside-50 domination that quarter, adding only a solitary point to go into half-time five points down.

GWS started to regain control in the third quarter, but like Geelong was unable to make the most of its opportunities, adding only 0.3 while keeping Geelong scoreless.

The fourth quarter was played at a frenetic pace, with Geelong constantly surging the ball inside 50.

But a desperate GWS side was able to stop Geelong from making any significant impact on the scoreboard, condemning the Cats to their eighth straight loss for the season.

Composed Giant brings early major

00:53 Mar 20. 2021. 1:31 PM

Haneen Zreika shows great composure after intercepting, finishing it off with a tight angled goal

The first blow
Haneen Zreika got the Giants off to an impressive start with a scintillating display early in the first term. The zippy youngster took the ball in the forward pocket, ran around debutant Carly Remmos and threaded the needle to kick the Giants' first goal for the day. In a dour, low-scoring affair, Zreika's early spark proved pivotal. 

Injury woes continue 
For Geelong, the AFLW season can't come to an end soon enough. Sitting winless with one round left to play, the Cats have had torrid luck on the injury front. Already missing two of their best players in Olivia Purcell and Nina Morrison, the Cats also lost youngster Denby Taylor against the Giants. After colliding with Tait Mackrill early in the first term, Taylor played no further part in the game. She was later seen on the boundary with her arm in a sling.

Young Cat crunched with this bump

00:23 Mar 20. 2021. 1:59 PM

Geelong defender Denby Taylor suffers a shoulder injury early in the first quarter

The ladder now
Saturday's win has kept the Giants' incredibly faint finals hopes alive, although they would need a host of results to go their way to sneak into the top six. Given its poor percentage of 71.6, GWS would need a thumping win against fellow finals aspirant Carlton next week and hope the Bulldogs lose their final two matches. The Giants would also need the Demons to lose against Fremantle and Brisbane, but even then Melbourne's impressive percentage (currently 136.4) will likely be too much for GWS to overcome.         

Say what? 
"We are developing obviously as a group and need to get some improvement at taking our chances when the moments come and being as clean as we can with our disposals." - Geelong coach Paul Hood 

"We've certainly looked to try and do things and prepare a little bit differently in the last month … because we've historically been up and down. In other days I think we may have lost this game today … so we were very happy with the outcome." - GWS coach Alan McConnell

What's next?
Geelong will head to Metricon Stadium next Saturday to take on the Suns at 4.10pm AEST. Meanwhile, the Giants will host Carlton at Blacktown International Sportspark for a must-win clash at 4.10pm AEDT next Sunday.                

GEELONG                                      1.1     1.2     1.2     1.3     (9)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     1.1     2.1     2.4     2.4     (16)

GOALS
Geelong: McWilliams
Greater Western Sydney: Zreika, Staunton

BEST 
Geelong: M.McDonald, A.McDonald, McMahon, Gardiner, McWilliams
Greater Western Sydney: Parker, Bennetts, Staunton, Zreika, Beeson

INJURIES
Geelong: Taylor (shoulder)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Reports: Britt Tully for a dangerous tackle on Richelle Cranston in the fourth quarter

Crowd: 963 at GMHBA Stadium

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