GWS hang on for AFL win over Dockers

Strong winds have failed to derail Greater Western Sydney in Canberra, with the Giants running out 31-point AFL victors over Fremantle.

Toby Greene (L) has starred in Greater Western Sydney's 31-point AFL win over Fremantle in Canberra.

Toby Greene (L) has starred in Greater Western Sydney's 31-point AFL win over Fremantle in Canberra.

The football was scrappy during Saturday afternoon's clash at UNSW Oval and goals never came easy but GWS' power and class stood out in the 11.16 (82) to 7.9 (51) win.

Fremantle made the early running to go into the first break with a surprise eight-point lead but the Giants powered to a 3-1 record on the back of seven goals to two during the second and third terms.

The Dockers hit back early in the final quarter through Brandon Matera's second goal and Bailey Banfield's first major of his young AFL career.

But a brilliant snap from Toby Greene midway through the final term steadied the Giants back out to a 19-point lead as rain helped thwart a Fremantle comeback.

Greene finished with two goals and played a key role in three others, while Giants co-captain Callan Ward (34 disposals) ran riot with a dominant midfield performance.

Brett Deledio enjoyed his best game in Giants colours with 28 possessions, while defender Nick Haynes and star midfielders Stephen Coniglio and Dylan Shiel continued their good form.

Former Western Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen made an inspirational return after more than a year out of the Giants team due to persistent ankle injuries.

The 31-year-old made an immediate impact by kicking the first goal of the game and was swamped by his GWS teammates.

Griffen didn't have a lot of the ball but added another major at the start of the second quarter.

Jeremy Cameron sent a scare through the Giants camp when he hobbled to the bench in the second quarter but played out the game with a jarred knee to finish with two goals.

Giants coach Leon Cameron said his star forward would be looked after to ensure he played against St Kilda next Saturday.

He said his players were battered and bruised following the gruelling contest.

"I think both sides played better going into the wind," Cameron said.

"It was a tough day and our boys are pretty sore from the game. I thought we tackled pretty well when we needed to."

Lachie Neale, Stephen Hill and veteran David Mundy worked hard for the Dockers, while captain Nat Fyfe provided a highlight with a brilliant goal on the halftime siren.

Fremantle coach Ross Lyon believed the game was lost in the Dockers' forward half as Freemantle couldn't capitalise on having three more inside 50s.

"Haynes and (Heath) Shaw were really good on our young forwards who got lost in tough conditions and that allowed (GWS) to shift the ball out quite well," Lyon said.

"We fought on and gave ourselves an opportunity (in the last quarter) so there's some good learnings in that."

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