A 50-point third-quarter blitz from North Melbourne has helped bury Greater Western Sydney in Canberra, with Giants coach Leon Cameron describing it as his side’s worst 30 minutes of footy all year.
The Kangaroos snapped a two-game losing streak with the dominant 19.12 (126) to 7.9 (51) win on Saturday afternoon in front of 10,211 AFL fans at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.
Despite going into halftime with just a four point lead, the Kangaroos kicked clear with eight third term goals – four of which were jagged by Drew Petrie – with the Giants only able to muster up a solitary behind in response.
Cameron pulled no punches when describing his side’s third quarter performance, their lack of contest clearly highlighted in the 112-69 possession stats for the term.
“Our midfield really let us down today,” Cameron said.
“I know we’ve been belted around the ears during the middle part of the year.
“But after halftime … the third quarter was our worst performance of the year.”
Making the third quarter slump even more frustrating was the fact the Giants entered the main break full of momentum after kicking three straight goals.
Kangaroos coach Brad Scott said he was pleased with his side’s ability to wrestle back the dominance.
“That side (Giants) is going to be a very difficult side to play from now on,” Scott said.
“When we weren’t playing well it was because they weren’t letting us.”
Petrie led the carnage by kicking four of his five goals during the 30 minutes of mayhem, while Ben Cunnington also starred throughout with three goals and 28 possessions.
Kayne Turner, North Melbourne’s youngest player at 18-years-old, was praised by Scott for a solid debut where he notched up a maximum with just his second kick.
“Our youngest, most inexperienced player really got us going in the third quarter,” Scott said.
“Turner was really electric with his energy.”
Toby Greene impressed for the Giants with a match-high 35 possessions, while Jonathon Patton and Devon Smith both chimed in with two goals apiece – one of which was a 60 metre-plus monster from Patton.
Already without Tom Scully, Jeremy Cameron, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Tim Mohr, the Giants’ injury woes could be further compounded after Jed Lamb injured his ankle midway through the second term and failed to finish the match.
“Whether it’s a rolled ankle or something else, we don’t know,” Cameron said.
“He hasn’t had a great deal of luck with his body and playing at our footy club.
The result extends the Giants’ losing streak to six, and they’ll now turn their attention towards fellow cellar dwellers Melbourne, while the sixth-placed Kangaroos next play the Western Bulldogs in their push towards the finals.
“It’s a bit of a relief that we’ve got some guys coming back,” Scott said.
“We had a real setback pre-game when Levi Greenwood and Lachie Hanson were late withdrawals.
“Hopefully they’ll only be one week, we’ve got an eight day break.”