VFL coach Wayne Cripps says a ‘desperate’ mentality was the catalyst for the GIANTS’ impressive upset win over the Sharks on Saturday.  

The GIANTS registered important back-to-back wins over Port Melbourne and the Swans in rounds 12 and 13 before arguably their best performance of the season on Saturday saw them snap the Sharks’ seven-match winning streak with a 27-point win in Southport.


“It’s always difficult travelling as it is, let alone going up to one of the top teams. They’re a quality side and so it was really pleasing to get the win on Saturday,” Cripps said.

“Once again we were able to play our way to a really high level for four quarters which again was really pleasing.”

Cripps said one of the keys to taking down the Sharks was his side’s hunger for the contest and desire to suffocate their opposition at all costs.

“We looked really desperate around our contest and our pressure,” he said.

“It just felt like we were really desperate to either win the footy, or if they won it, to pressure them and make their disposal messy which I think we did a really good job of.”

Leading the way in the win was the starring performances of several AFL-listed GIANTS pushing for senior selection, with James Peatling ((35 touches, seven clearances, four tackles, one goal) and Aaron Cadman (16 touches, five goals, nine marks, four tackles) the standouts amongst a number of big performers.

“’JP’ [Peatling] leads the way every time he comes back [to VFL level]. He had 12 contested possession and seven clearances. He just plays the right way, he puts his head over it, and he helps us play with speed, “Cripps said of Peatling.

“With ‘Cads’ [Cadman], it was good to see put it together again. He took three contested marks last week and another three this week and he’s looking really dynamic.

“He could have kicked a bag but he was extremely selfless and got his teammates into the game as well.

“He’s got great energy and attitude at the moment and the whole purpose of getting him back [to VFL] was to get his confidence back and we couldn’t have asked for anymore from him.”

Just as damaging was Xavier O’Halloran (27 touches, six clearances and an incredible 14 tackles) who provided a mixture of grunt and class all day against the Sharks.

“’X’ [O’Halloran] led the way again. He’s another one similar to ‘JP’ with how they perform when they come back [to VFL level]. He had 15 contested possessions and 14 tackles which is huge. But probably the most pleasing thing was his delivery inside 50 as his ability to find the free target was at a really high level.”

Livewire small forward Darcy Jones (16 touches, two goals, four clearances) was another that caught everyone’s attention in the win.

“He always has those highlight moments and his turn of foot is pretty exciting to watch,” Cripps said.

“He’s very dynamic and he created that perceived pressure for the opposition, and then they can’t go with him on offense.”

Recent draftees Phoenix Gothard (19 touches, two goals) and James Leake (23 touches, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances), as well as Jacob Wehr (20 touches, two goals eight marks) and Adam Kennedy (19 touches, eight marks) were other standouts in Saturday’s win.

The GIANTS will now look to make it four straight wins when they host the Blues in Blacktown on Saturday at 1:05pm.

AFL-listed GIANTS’ stats against Southport on Saturday:

2. Darcy Jones

16 disposals, two goals, four clearances

5. Aaron Cadman

16 disposals, five goals, nine marks, four tackles


10. Jacob Wehr 

20 disposals, two goals, eight marks, three clearances, three tackles

18. Conor Stone   

21 disposals, eight marks

20. James Peatling

35 disposals, one goal, seven clearances, six marks, four tackles

25. Lachlan Keeffe 

12 disposals, three goals, five marks, nine hit-outs, three clearances

29. Phoenix Gothard    

19 disposals, two goals, five marks, four tackles

30. James Leake

23 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances

33. Xavier O’Halloran

27 disposals, seven marks, 14 tackles, six clearances

37. Joe Fonti

15 disposals, four tackles

40. Adam Kennedy

19 disposals, eight marks

42. Nathan Wardius

11 disposals, one goal, six marks

45. Wade Derksen     

19 disposals, five marks      

VFL Player Shoutout: Ryan Hebro 

14 disposals, eight marks  

“He’d be the first to admit that he had a poor game against Box Hill and he was disappointed in his performance. But since then he’s bounced back and he hasn’t put a foot wrong and has been a great leader down there. His ability to compete in the air [is great], he’s rarely beaten, and he comes across to support his mates. He’s just been super the last few weeks. It’s a credit to himself.”