GWS have spanked a poor Essendon side by 72 points in their AFL clash, making it a wretched homecoming for a couple of former Giants.
Playing at the newly rebranded Giants Stadium on Sunday, GWS cruised to a 16.16 (112) to 5.10 (40) win in front of 15.424 fans, the largest non-Sydney-derby regular season crowd at the venue.
It was a dark day for a Bombers side including former Giants Devon Smith and Dylan Shiel, who were booed by some of their old supporters, but that was the least of their problems.
The large contingent of Essendon supporters would have left disappointed by the lack of fight from their side following the optimistic pre-season expectations.
Jeremy Cameron kicked four goals, and Lachie Keefe and Stephen Coniglio three each, with the latter adding 31 possessions.
Keefe, who limped off the ground in the first quarter after landing awkwardly following a marking contest, returned in the second term with a heavily strapped left knee and thigh and equalled his best goal haul from eight years ago.
Tim Taranto logged two goals and 31 touches for a GWS side that won the contested possessions count 157-118 and were far more consistent with their pressure and ball movement.
The Bombers lacked presence up forward without Joe Daniher and Cale Hooker and kicked just two goals in the first half and three in the second.
GWS booted the first five goals to lead 35-4 early in the second quarter, before the Bombers landed successive majors to cut the gap to 20.
That was as close as they got, as GWS slammed on the next five goals either side of halftime to lead 73-19.
They piled on the first six goals of the final quarter to lead by as much as 85.
Shiel, Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis all collected 25 disposals and Smith 24 for Essendon, who had two more inside 50s in the first quarter, but trailed by 16 after logging just four behinds.
Giants youngster Harry Perryman didn’t return for the second half after taking a couple of big knocks in the second quarter.
© AAP 2019
GWS GIANTS 3.2 7.8 10.13 16.16 (112)
ESSENDON 0.4 2.5 3.8 5.10 (40)
Goals: Greater Western Sydney: J Cameron 4 L Keeffe 3 S Coniglio 3 D Lloyd 2 T Taranto 2 H Himmelberg T Greene. Essendon: K Langford 2 A Francis J Stringer M Baguley.
Umpires: Dean Margetts, Andrew Mitchell, Leigh Fisher.
Official Crowd: 15,424 at Giants Stadium.