Greater Western Sydney proved they’re no longer boys in a men’s game with a record 86-point AFL win over a poor Port Adelaide in Canberra on Sunday.
The 22.19 (151) to 9.11 (65) flogging at Manuka Oval was the expansion club’s biggest-ever winning margin and highest score since joining the competition in 2012.
It eclipsed last year’s 20 goal, 81-point victory over Carlton in round 22, and the 135 points they posted to beat the Blues earlier in 2015.
The Giants remain undefeated in the nation’s capital this season, having beaten Geelong in round two.
“You just don’t get a chance to sometimes win like that,” coach Leon Cameron said.
“If you get a side that’s down at any particular time and you can punish them, then you’ve got to take those hits.
“Clearly Port were down and our pressure was really good, so we capitalised.”
GWS had 14 individual goalscorers – youngster Rory Lobb stepped up with four goals, while Callan Ward, Steve Johnson, Ryan Griffen and Rhys Palmer each booted two.
Dylan Shiel was once again hugely influential, as was Shane Mumford who dominated the ruck against opposite Matthew Lobbe.
The record win came on the back of record opening terms – posting their highest-scoring first quarter (42) and half (94) ever.
They had 34 more inside 50s and 15 more contested possessions.
“The stats tell the story,” added Cameron.
“It’s pleasing that our boys found a bit more rhythm; that’s been missing the first three rounds.”
Port coach Ken Hinkley during the week labelled the Giants the “real deal” and was left red-faced on Sunday.
“It’s embarrassing,” he said.
“It’s not up to the level that we expect of ourselves.”
Cameron said the win showed how far GWS had come.
“It’s a man’s game,” he said.
“We’re five years in and we’re men; our average age is 24 most weeks now.
“There’s days you’re going to get beaten and days you’re going to win. But you’ve got to make sure when you do get beaten, you go down fighting. Gone are those days two or three years ago when we were younger, that we would concede.
“Our leaders led the way, and I thought Joel Patfull in his 200th game was terrific.
“We’ve just got to keep on keeping on because it’s a tough task next Sunday again.”
The Giants are set to welcome back goal-scoring machine Jeremy Cameron from suspension when they face St Kilda at Etihad Stadium, with exciting duo Devon Smith (knee) and Will Hoskin-Elliott (quad) also a chance of returning.
The Power host Geelong next Saturday.