Strong performances from Academy draftees Harrison Himmelberg and Jacob Hopper have helped the WSU GIANTS defeat a Canberra composite side by 44 points at Tom Wills Oval on Saturday.
The game was the first competitive hit-out for many of the GIANTS squad and also the first match in charge for new NEAFL coach Brad Miller.
Miller named a strong line-up including Jon Patton, Joel Patfull and new recruit Dawson Simpson for the match that was played in tough, hot conditions.
“I was really happy with the boys first up effort, they certainly put in against some of the bigger bodies and it was good for their development,” Miller said.
The GIANTS held a 19-point lead at halftime thanks to Himmelberg in the backline taking a number of intercept marks and Hopper getting the ball moving out of the middle.
“Harry Himmelberg was reading the ball really well and got us going off the halfback line,” Miller said.
“Jacob was really impressive in and around the footy as well and once Daniel Lloyd moved onto the ball he offered us a lot of work and was able to crash in and get the ball moving forward.”
The GIANTS held the Canberra side goalless in the second half with Patton kicking three goals, adding his name to the list of GIANTS players pushing for selection in the last NAB Challenge game against Brisbane next Sunday.
The WSU GIANTS - formerly known as the UWS GIANTS - have two more trial matches planned against Swans Reserves over the next fortnight before the NEAFL season gets underway against Sydney University on Sunday, April 3.