Main content
180335_Website_Branding_Bar_v4png

Great escape: Epic finish puts Giants into prelim against Pies

A brilliant running goal by Brent Daniels in the dying minutes has catapulted Greater Western Sydney into a preliminary final with a pulsating three-point win over a heartbroken Brisbane at the Gabba.

With his team trailing by three points and less than three minutes remaining, Daniels scooped the loose ball up at half-forward, sprinted away from Alex Witherden and calmly kicked a running right-foot banana from 25m.

It gave the Giants a 12.11 (83) to 11.14 (80) victory. 

They will now play Collingwood next Saturday afternoon at the MCG for the right to play in this year's Grand Final.

The frantic match had everything from a crazy nine-goal opening quarter to 10 lead changes, some individual brilliance and plenty of spite from both teams.

When the game was there to be won in the final quarter though, GWS' defence was magnificent. 

Brisbane peppered the goals, launching 19 inside 50 attacks to seven, but led by rocks Phil Davis, Nick Haynes and 100th-gamer Zac Williams, the visitors repelled every challenge, intercept marking at will.

Allen Christensen gave the Lions the lead with five minutes remaining, but it would not be enough.

Toby Greene was sensational for the victors, racking up 30 disposals and kicking two goals, while Josh Kelly (26), Jacob Hopper (25) and Jeremy Cameron (three goals) were also influential. 

For Brisbane, Daniel Rich (25 touches) and Eric Hipwood (three goals) were its best players.

Although going out of the finals in straight sets, the Lions' fifth-place finish caps a magnificent season, although they'll be left with a sour taste in their mouth.

There was just as many spot-fires as goals in a game that is sure to keep Match Review Officer Michael Christian busy. 

The umpires whistled 54 free kicks on the night – 31 to Brisbane and 23 to GWS.

From the niggling of Adam Kennedy and Heath Shaw on Charlie Cameron's injured elbow to Nick Robertson's pushing into the sore back of Lachie Whitfield, there was never a dull moment. 

Aidan Corr's shot to Jarrod Berry's head in the third quarter will draw some attention. 

Just seven days after being at the centre of a huge controversy with Marcus Bontempelli, Greene was again in the thick of the action, niggling and nudging for most of the night, while Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko was just as much of an agitator. 

The Giants got the jump after one of the more crazy opening 10 minutes in recent finals history.

Brisbane talisman Cameron sent a scare through the Lions' camp when he was assisted from the field in the opening moments with an elbow injury, but that was just the beginning of the problems for the hosts.

Greene kicked the game's first goal – to the boisterous boos of the 30,034 spectators – and from an ensuing melee, the Giants added another just seconds later when Jeremy Finlayson was awarded a free kick. 

The visitors led 25-0 after 10 minutes as Brisbane gave away free kicks and looked rattled.

They bounced back quickly though, and unlike last week's loss to Richmond, had no jitters with set-shot goalkicking.

Jarrod Berry settled the nerves and when Hipwood, Zorko, Jarryd Lyons and Cameron – who had returned to the field – kicked four more, Brisbane had a quarter-time lead.

BRISBANE                                  5.2     7.4     9.9     11.14     (80)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     4.2     9.4     10.10     12.11     (83)

GOALS
Brisbane: Hipwood 3, Cameron 2, Berry, Zorko, Lyons, Rayner, McStay, Christensen
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 3, Greene 2, Finlayson 2, Lloyd, Hopper, Williams, Kelly, Daniels

BEST
Brisbane: Rich, Hipwood, McCluggage, Berry, Zorko, Hodge, Robertson
Greater Western Sydney: Greene, Hopper, Williams, Cameron, Davis, Haynes, Kelly

INJURIES
Brisbane: Cameron (elbow)
Greater Western Sydney: Nil

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Chamberlain, Ryan

Official crowd: 30,034 at the Gabba

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs