A gritty GWS side overcame a fast-starting Adelaide and a host of injuries to cruise to an impressive 16-point victory to an impressive start under new coach Adam Kingsley.
A four-goal run from captain Toby Greene helped the Giants get past the Ravens, after giving them up to five goals, to a 15.16 (106) to 12.18 (90) victory at Giants Stadium on Sunday.
Greene was terrific in his first game as an independent captain, but the Giants had inspirational efforts all over the field including kicking stopper Brent Daniels in his first game for 590 days.
The small forward finished with two goals after being sidelined with a series of hamstring problems, while the Giants had to hold out late with no support available off the bench on a day of injury.
Harry Berryman (hamstring), Lachy Whitfield and Josh Kelly (both with concussions) were forced off the field before the game was on the line, while Nick Haynes was restricted with cramps but kicked a late goal to put the team up as the Crows threatened .
Jacob Weir has also spent some time on the bench assessing concussion following a severe hit from Shane McAdam that is sure to come under scrutiny by the match review officer.
Rookie catcher Tom Green (37 disposals) was an all-time standout, and former captains Stephen Coniglio (32) and Callan Ward (31) helped lead the Giants’ second-half revival.
Outstanding Ravens recruit Isaac Rankin ignited his new club early but failed to get the Giants pushed on the scoreboard with 2.5 of 18 disposals.
Josh Rachel showed his class with three goals, while new Ravens captain Jordan Dawson had a polished 23 possessions.
Former Ravens captain Rory Sloan finished with 18 touches and went through the game despite being involved in accidental head clashes that forced two Giants out of the contest.
Darcy Fogarty scored twice but couldn’t go the distance from outside 50m as the Crows made one last charge before Daniels kicked the final main.
The Giants were surprisingly unspectacular early in Kingsley’s first game as they only played twice in the opening season, but the Ravens failed to make a 4.9 to 2.2 push on the scoreboard.
The hosts finally lifted on kicking the first four goals of the third period to reduce the margin to less than a goal, and then gradually bounced back on the Crows, even with a bit of a build-up late in the game.
The Giants travel to Perth to try to beat West Coast 2-0 on Sunday, while the Crows will be out to bounce when they host Richmond on Saturday.
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