GWS cop AFL derby hiding from Sydney

Sydney dominated GWS in their AFL derby win at Perth's Optus Stadium on Thursday.
Sydney dominated GWS in their AFL derby win at Perth's Optus Stadium on Thursday.

GWS have been given a major reality check after slumping to a shock 41-point AFL loss to Sydney in the Battle of the Bridge derby in Perth.

The Giants booted just one goal in the first half and were horribly wayward going forward during their 10.6 (66) to 3.7 (25) loss at Optus Stadium on Thursday night.

It was the equal lowest score in the nine-year history of GWS, matching the 3.7 (25) they scored in last year's 89-point grand final loss to Richmond.

But they were lucky to even match that mark given all three of their goals came from free kicks; two of which were dubious.

The Giants' final goal against the Swans came with just 70 seconds left in the match.

The result left GWS at 6-5 and in a logjam just to make the top eight.

They had breathed life into their season with recent wins over Richmond, Gold Coast, and Essendon.

But the nature of their loss to the lowly Swans is set to ring major alarm bells.

Although the Giants won the inside 50m count 52-32, their delivery into attack was woeful.

They were error-riddled throughout the contest and generally blew the few good chances they created close to goal.

"When you have 52 inside 50s to 32 and kick three goals ... we didn't function well ahead of the footy," GWS coach Leon Camerson said.

"I thought their backs dominated our forward.

"It's just a really disappointing night.

"I can't sugar coat it because, as good as they were, we were really ordinary."

Sydney entered the match having lost six of their past seven games, but they dominated GWS from the outset.

Swans midfielder Luke Parker battled hard for 29 disposals and five clearances, while Nick Blakey (18 disposals, two goals) played his best game.

Jake Lloyd, Dane Rampe, James Rowbottom and Jordan Dawson were also crucial in the win.

"Going in to the game someone told me we had almost 650 games less experience," Sydney coach John Longmire said.

"Everyone played a really strong role.

"We kept it going for four quarters.

"We've played a quarter here and a quarter there, but we haven't put together a performance like that probably since round one."

Star Giants midfielder Josh Kelly tallied 31 disposals and eight clearances but he lacked support.

The Giants were clearly off the ball in the opening term as Sydney won the clearances 16-6 and disposals 101-54.

The Swans capitalised to kick three goals to nil, with Dawson booting two of them.

The Giants could only manage a single behind from their 11 inside-50s and nine of their players had one possession or less.

GWS kicked their first goal of the match at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter when Jeremy Cameron received a free kick for holding, but it was a rare highlight.

Australian Associated Press