Starring performances from James Peatling, Aaron Cadman and Xavier O’Halloran - as well as a cameo from the highlight reel Darcy Jones - saw the GIANTS register a 27-point upset win over the third-placed Sharks in a thrilling encounter in Southport on Saturday.

Trailing by 19 points midway through the first term after conceding the first three goals, the Peatling and Cadman show soon commenced as the duo spearheaded a five-goal avalanche inside 10 minutes to give the GIANTS an early stranglehold on the Sharks.

The 10-minute blitz - in which Cadman kicked three goals inside five minutes - gave the GIANTS a 12-point lead at the first break following a quarter in which Peatling ran amok with 13 disposals and four clearances.

The GIANTS continued to get the better of their more fancied opponents across the middle two terms to hold a 25-point lead at the final change in what was an accurate and entertaining contest filled with highlight plays.

Despite the home side threatening a comeback with three straight goals to cut the lead to 14 points midway through the final term, the GIANTS settled through Cadman, Jacob Wehr and Matt Harms to register an emphatic 17.10 (112) to 13.7 (85) upset win on the road.

The GIANTS’ third win in a row, the victory also put an end to the Sharks’ seven-game winning streak.

Several GIANTS will be banging the door down for AFL selection next week following the win, with Peatling (35 touches, seven clearances, four tackles, one goal) and Cadman (16 touches, five goals, nine marks, four tackles) the standouts amongst a host of big performances.

Peatling shone brightest in the first half with a whopping 23 disposals and six clearances at the main break, before capping off his return to the VFL with a classy goal in the final term.

Meanwhile Cadman did his chances of a return to the senior side no harm, with his bag of five going along with several score assists in an unselfish display as the former number one pick put in another dominant performance on the back of last week’s best-on-ground VFL display following his omission from the AFL side.

O’Halloran was another who looked a class above the level in his return to the VFL from last week’s AFL side, with the hardnut onballer finishing with 27 touches, six clearances and an incredible 14 tackles in a brilliant all-around game. The 23-year-old was also instrumental in several goals, with his inside-50 entries to the likes of the leading Cadman and Lachlan Keeffe (three goals) a standout.

Speed machine Jones (16 touches, two goals, four clearances) is also sure to come into AFL consideration for the club’s AFL clash with the Blues next week, with his pressure, speed and creativity on full display in his second straight impressive VFL performances following a month out with a hamstring injury.

Recent draftees Phoenix Gothard (19 touches, two goals) and James Leake (23 touches, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances) were others to grab attention, with Leake showing his AFL potential with a strong outing in just his second appearance in GIANTS colours after overcoming a persistent quad injury.

Conor Stone (21 touches, eight marks) and Wehr (20 touches, two goals eight marks) were also valuable contributors, while Adam Kennedy (19 touches, eight marks) put in his best performance in his second game back from more than 14 months out with an ACL injury.

The only downside of a brilliant day for the GIANTS was the loss of tough VFL-listed midfielder Marc Sheather who left the game just before half -time with a suspected MCL injury to his knee.

After Saturday’s strong win over the Sharks – their third straight win following victories over Port Melbourne and the Swans – the GIANTS will now host the Blues in Blacktown next Saturday at 1:05pm

VFL Round 1

GIANTS:   6.2  11.2  13.7  17.10 (112)
Sharks:     4.2   8.4    9.6     13.7 (85) 


GIANTS:  Cadman 5, Keeffe 3, Jones 2, Gothard 2, Wehr 2, Peatling, Wardius, Harms
Sharks:  Lake 2, Heron 2, Gray 2, Banks-Smith 2, Shannon, Sexton, Joyce, Edwards, Dixon