Little brother has well and truly arrived with Greater Western Sydney kicking six unanswered goals in the final term to record a historic 15.9 (99) to 9.13 (67) AFL win over intra-city rival Sydney Swans on Saturday.
The first Spotless Stadium encounter between the two clubs produced the Giants’ first win in five derbies and included a bit of everything, including a delay of over 20 minutes between the first two quarters due to a fierce storm.
For all the fuss about Lance Franklin’s much-anticipated debut for Sydney, it was opposing forwards Jeremy Cameron (four goals) and Jonathon Patton (three) who stole the show.
Franklin kicked one booming 50-metre goal from a set shot inside the first 10 minutes, but was otherwise well held by Phil Davis, notching 1.1, seven touches and four marks.
Down by seven early in the last quarter, GWS hit the front through goals by Stephen Coniglio and Adam Kennedy.
Further majors to Cameron, Sam Frost, Patton and Lachie Whitfield sealed a famous win, with co-captains Davis and Callan Ward outstanding.
An ominous first rumble of thunder broke before the first bounce and the rain arrived a few minutes later.
The rain intensified as the quarter progressed and was lashing the ground as the siren sounded to end the term, with players and officials leaving the ground.
The match manager invoked AFL regulation 33 which allows for a game to be delayed for up to an hour for circumstances beyond the control of the home club.
When the weather cleared, it was replaced by a different kind of electricity and energy as the harbour city sides produced their first full-blooded four-quarter tussle, with the rival fans in the 17,102 crowd adding a strong vocal backdrop.
The Giants led 19-12 early before the Swans kicked three straight goals to set up a 13-point lead at the first break.
After a first quarter that produced 10 goals, the scoring cooled off when the game resumed after the delay.
The Giants weathered some early Swans pressure, with the visitors failing to fully capitalise.
Sydney had the first six scoring shots of the term, but only of them was a goal.
The Giants trailed by 24 points, but cut the deficit to just seven by halftime after kicking the last three goals, two of them to Cameron.
Both teams kicked two goals in the third quarter, which ended with the Swans holding a slender three-point lead.
Originally omitted Swans midfielder Ryan O’Keefe received a late reprieve when he came into the side after co-captain Kieren Jack pulled out with a sore back.