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Melbourne Football Club

Melbourne falls to Giants by 35 points

GREATER Western Sydney has consolidated its spot in the top four with a first-quarter onslaught to set up a 35-point victory over Melbourne.

The Giants outclassed the Demons, winning 14.13 (97) to 10.2 (62) in front of 14,274 fans on Saturday afternoon at UNSW Canberra Oval.

It's a costly loss for Melbourne, who could drop out of the top eight by the end of the round, while GWS jump to second.

The Giants' tackling was sensational, with their high-pressure game choking the Dees who lacked creativity in attack.

GWS coach Leon Cameron said he was excited to see his team back to playing a hard-nosed brand of footy after they laid 110 tackles for the day.

"Our tackle count tells the story because it's been up and down, actually it's been worse than up and down, over the last month," he said.

"It was good that everyone bought in and played some really good defence.

"Our contested ball dropped away in the second half but the damage had probably been done."

His counterpart Simon Goodwin was frustrated given his side topped the Giants in a couple of major statistical areas, but he said that didn't tell the story of the contest.

"We won the contested ball and the inside 50s, but we lost the clearances and the tackles, so around the ball they got the better of us, even though the numbers suggested we did win the contested ball," he said.

"There's no doubt they used the ball better going forward of centre and that was probably the difference in the game, their ability to be efficient going inside 50."

There were concerning signs for GWS early, with Melbourne booting the first three goals of the match.

But the Demons' momentum was arrested by two freakish goals, with Stephen Coniglio's left-foot banana from the boundary opening the Giants' account before Tom Scully benefited from a wicked off-break.

That sparked an avalanche, with GWS using a favourable breeze to pile on eight majors to record its highest-scoring first quarter in the club's short history.

The Giants switched their focus to defence in the second term without the aid of the breeze, playing with an extra man in the backline as the pace disappeared from the contest.

Despite dominating possession, the Dees struggled to break them down and went into the main break trailing by six goals.

GWS kept Melbourne at arm's length in a dour second half, with any hopes of a comeback snuffed out by the Giants' strong defensive efforts.

The Demons' forwards had a miserable day with Jack Watts and Jeff Garlett not registering a kick in the first half.

Giants midfield star Josh Kelly played stints up forward and finished with three goals and 27 disposals, while veteran Steve Johnson and Devon Smith kicked two apiece.

Callan Ward and Dylan Shiel showed toughness at the contest, while racking up 29 and 25 touches respectively.

Former Richmond star Brett Deledio celebrated his AFL comeback with a last-quarter goal in an otherwise quiet return.

To add to the Demons' pain, Jake Melksham could face a suspension for a high bump.

Giants ruckman Shane Mumford will also come under scrutiny from the Match Review Panel over two incidents.

He flung debutant Corey Maynard into the turf in a heavy tackle in the second quarter, before collecting Max Gawn with his shoulder in the third.

GWS has won all three of its matches this year in Canberra.

Greater Western Sydney: 
The Giants looked like they got through unscathed, although Shane Mumford and Phil Davis did come off with the blood rule throughout the afternoon.

Melbourne: Christian Salem looked to have suffered a leg injury in the second half but played out the match. 

The Giants meet the Western Bulldogs in a massive clash at Etihad Stadium next Friday night, while the Demons get extra time off to prepare for a meeting with St Kilda at the MCG on Sunday.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     8.6     10.7     13.12     14.13     (97)
MELBOURNE                              3.0       5.1        7.1       10.2      (62) 

Greater Western Sydney: 
Kelly 3, Johnson 2, Smith 2, Coniglio, Scully, Himmelberg, Shiel, Ward, Mumford, Deledio
Melbourne: Melksham 2, Neal-Bullen 2, Gawn, Tyson, T. McDonald, Pedersen, Watts, Maynard 

Greater Western Sydney: 
Kelly, Ward, Coniglio, Scully, Shiel, Mumford, Williams
Melbourne: Gawn, Lewis, Oliver, Hibberd, Vince 

Greater Western Sydney: 
Melbourne: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Williamson, Ryan 

Official crowd: 14,274 at UNSW Canberra Oval