Coach Leon Cameron has praised Josh Kelly, not only for his match-winning goal, but for the way he performed throughout the Sydney Derby as well as in recent weeks.
Kelly finished with 26 touches and 474m gained, none more important than the few metres the ball travelled to put the GIANTS up by two points.
"I thought he played a really good game. His last three weeks have been really good, he's getting his hands on the footy, he's efficient, he's hitting the scoreboard,” Cameron said.
"He's had a couple of shots tonight and nailed the one that we needed.”
Toby Greene kicked the goal before Kelly’s, to give the GIANTS a sniff when it had seemed like the Swans would keep their crosstown rivals at arms’ length and move to 5-0 for the first time since 2012.
The GIANTS stand-in skipper was having a day to forget, kicking 0.7, before kicking a goal at the 26-minute mark that he’ll remember.
"Some of those nights are not going to go your way,” Cameron said.
"But it takes a special player to want big moments. We wanted him deep in the last five or six minutes, he was, and he had some moments there he probably could have kicked a couple more.
"He's a special talent, special player and led us again from the front.
“He just never gives up, and the players that play in behind him just love it.”
The GIANTS will find out more about veteran Sam Reid's hamstring injury in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Sydney is expecting to be without Tom Hickey for several weeks after the veteran ruckman injured his knee in the thrilling Sydney Derby.
Hickey had been one of the most influential players on the ground until making his way to the bench clutching his knee just before three-quarter time, with what John Longmire said the club “think is a PCL”. The 30-year-old ruckman was subbed off soon after for midfielder Dylan Stephens.
Up until then Hickey had been involved in an enthralling contest with Shane Mumford. While the GIANTS big man held a slight advantage in the hitouts (22 to 19), Hickey had been able to have more of an impact around the ground, especially in the first half, and had gathered 16 disposals.
Mumford was able to throw his size around more in contests in the fourth quarter, as the GIANTS won the contested possessions in the final term by 11.
But Hickey’s absence was most keenly felt in a match-deciding contest in the GIANTS goalsquare 30 minutes into the last quarter.
While Sydney’s Sam Reid was able to nullify the tap outs, he couldn’t clear the ball away from the Giants goal and Josh Kelly swooped to gather it, snapping truly to put his side in front for the first time since halfway through the opening quarter.
Longmire acknowledged the Swans missed Hickey at that moment because “that's his craft”, but put the blame for Kelly’s goal on the players at the drop of the ball rather than his relief ruckman Reid.
"We just needed to pick [Kelly] up. That's pretty simple. We just didn't get it done,” the Swans coach said.
“Some good learning for a few of our younger fellas, and just a reminder for some of the experienced players that we should've got it sorted out.
“I thought Reidy was pretty good in that last period on the ball, but we probably lost him in other areas, which would've been handy.”