The GIANTS claimed their second win of the 2021 VFL season coming from behind to defeat Port Melbourne at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday afternoon. 

Tanner Bruhn, Kieren Briggs and Nick Shipley starred for the GIANTS as they held-off a fast finishing Port Melbourne side to record a 11.9 (75) to 9.12 (66) win.

Youngster Kieren Briggs responded well to being omitted by senior coach Leon Cameron registering 45 hit-outs, 26 disposals and five tackles. 

Tanner Bruhn (three goals) and Nick Shipley (25 disposals, one goal) were both impressive in the midfield for the GIANTS, with Bruhn coming off early into the second quarter as a precaution for groin soreness. 

GIANTS VFL coach Luke Kelly praised his side’s resilience and ability to fight back after a disappointing opening term. 

"I think it was a really good fight back after a slow start against a really consistent team in Port Melbourne," Kelly said. 

"It was really strong especially around the ball, so really pleased with how the boys went about it. 

"Obviously we had our challenges in the second half with personnel, but our ability to stay in the game and continue to play our brand of football was the reason we were able to hold off a fast finishing Port." 

Tanner Bruhn

3 goals, 8 disposals 

"We lost Tanner early into the second quarter, but up until then he was probably in for a really good day. To kick three goals and have six score involvements and a couple of clearances in 25 minutes of football is obviously a really good start, hopefully next week we see him for a little longer."

Ryan Angwin 

18 disposals, 7 marks  

"Another really good performance from Ryan. Once Tanner went down we had to move him inside and he finished with 18. What was the most pleasing part of his game was his defensive ability, he laid five tackles and had some big moments late in the game for us which really got us over the line."

Conor Stone

1 goal, 15 disposals 

"It was Conor's first full game inside as a midfielder on the weekend. Eli Templeton got on top of us early so we sent Conor to him and he did a really good job in being able to play on him, even hitting the scoreboard which we love to see from our midfield. He used the footy really well, he sets us up on the offence really strongly and we were really pleased with Conor's performance." 

Kieren Briggs 

45 hit-outs, 26 disposals 

"A massive game from Kieren, he had 26 touches, 20 of which were contested. He led the way with clearances and he competed like an AFL ruckman."

Cameron Fleeton 

9 disposals, 4 marks 

"Cam is continuing to put in some really consistent performances down back now. By his own admission last week he probably got the balance wrong but this week he got back to what he does best and that's his defensive craft. He's becoming really reliable down back which is great." 

Nick Shipley 

25 disposals, 1 goal

"Shipley was massive inside, he had 24 disposals and 18 of them were contested. The inside work that he does and his gut running to get back and help out was really impressive, he's starting to really round out his game."

Will Shaw 

16 disposals, 7 marks

"With Jacob Wehr a late out we moved Will to half-back and it was his first game in that position. He had 16 and his kicking was at 85 per cent efficiency so we loved that aspect of his game. His ability to come off his direct opponent and support his teammates in the air and his bravery and strength in the contest was a real highlight and it'll hold him in good stead wherever he plays his football."

Callum Brown 

9 disposals, 6 marks

"He's getting better and better every week. I'd hate to play on him, he has great leg speed and his strength in the contest and in the air is great. I think the main thing with him at the moment is that his confidence is high but he's keeping his game really simple which we love. Another one of our best players on the day." 

Alex Smout

20 disposals, 8 marks

"Alex is continuing to play a really important role for us on the wing. His maturity late in games is really holding us in good stead. He's still learning that wing role but for the most part doing his job really for the team."

Billy Clark  

6 disposals, 2 marks

"Probably one that has had a couple of good offensive games and recognised that he needed to go back to his defence craft which I thought was a highlight. Billy had some really big contests late in the contest off the back of his defensive starting positions and he's working well within our back seven and the boys love having him." 

Rhys Pollock

3 goals, 18 disposals 

"Rhys played a lot higher this week and he a lot more involvement with his 18 touches but again found a way to impact the scoreboard. He kicked three goals and had six score involvements but the pleasing part is he's able to lay his four tackles which is what we've been challenging him to add to his game, it was another really strong performance from him." 

Tim Garvey 

10 disposals, 5 marks

"Having a mature body inside against a midfield like Port Melbourne is really important and what he does in terms of his ability to structure us up is crucial." 

Leyton Chisholm 

2 goals, 17 disposals 

"Really pleased for him, his first game last week was really tough as a forward. We know he's capable of playing inside and we were able to inject him inside a lot more once Tanner got injured."

Zachery Youlten 

7 disposals, 4 marks 

"Another one we had to swing down back. His leg speed and his competitiveness allows him to play anywhere. He had some really strong composed moments, we love him with the ball in hand."

Liam Ross

13 disposals, 6 marks

"He has become a really consistent performer for us as a high half forward. His touches are starting to turn into more score involvements and he'll continue to get more composed with the ball in hand as he continues to get more comfortable at the level."

Tom Stapleton

3 disposals, 16 hitouts 

"Tom's VFL debut on the weekend. He's a competitor, never dropped his head, and had some really crucial contests for us as a forward. To be able play four quarters supporting Briggs was really fantastic to see, we saw his ruck talent in glimpses and he's another one that'll just keep on getting better." 

James Peatling

33 disposals, 11 marks 

"Clearly the stand out game for James this year. Everyone will see his 33 disposals and his offensive game, but he's another one that his defence first mentality allowed us to push forward. His defensive game his getting better and better and he's starting to really use the ball well especially by foot. One of our best."

Scott Brown 

1 disposal, 3 tackles

"One of our best in the Academy, Scott came in late due to our AFL changes. The stat sheet doesn't do his game justice, if you watched the last 10 minutes his ability to create a contest in the forward line and bring our smalls into the game was crucial. A really strong four quarters from Scott."

Matt McGrory

7 disposals, 3 tackles

"Matt had the job on Matthew Signorello who has been in good goal kicking form and only finished with two. We have a lot of trust in Matt to do the job, he competed hard for four quarters. He works well in our backline and love being able to bring him in knowing what he is capable of."

Josh Boag 

1 goal, 9 disposals

"Josh is starting to really get him self into more positions and have an impact. He's got some great traits that'll keep him in good stead for VFL football. Disappointed to lose him to an ankle injury when we did." 

Jack Field 

6 disposals, 3 tackles

"Another debutant, we were really pleased with his game. He turned up in some really good spots for us as a small forward. He will be better for understanding the intensity and speed and what's needed from a fundamental point of view. His composure with ball in hand and his defensive pressure was a real highlight." 

Xavier Barry-Murphy

8 disposals, 7 marks 

"Plays a really important role on the wing for us. To have another mature-ager who is really disciplined out there again compliments our midfield. The most pleasing thing with him was his seven tackles."