Giants off to a good start under McVeigh

Sydney’s BIG West began their new era under Mark McVeigh in style with a 52-point victory over the West Coast at Giants Stadium.

The Giants outscored the understaffed Eagles on the first rebound to give McVeigh the best possible start as interim coach with a 21.12 (138)-13.8 (86) victory Sunday.

The Eagles will also sweat over the fitness of Luke Shuey after their captain was substituted out of the game last season.

Both teams were missing several stars, especially after the Giants made nine squad changes from last week, but the hosts settled in quicker with four unanswered goals in the opening nine minutes that set the tone for the game. match.

The Giants then posted their biggest first-half score since the fourth inning of 2016 – and their second-highest on record – to lead 14.3-5.4 at the main break.

The most identifiable change made by McVeigh and the coaching group that now includes former Essendon teammates James Hird and Dean Solomon was moving Harry Himmelberg from the front line to defence.

Himmelberg looked comfortable in the baseline and relished the freedom to launch torpedoes when kicking past the behinds, with a long second-term bomb flying past the center circle.

He was also able to add to the 17 goals he had already scored this season, after a 50m penalty on the wing set up a shot from the 50m arc which Himmelberg netted.

With Himmelberg pushed to the baseline, Jarrod Brander spent more time up front in his third game for the Giants since being written off by the Eagles late last season.

Brander finished with 16 eliminations and one goal against the club that drafted him from the Giants Academy with a first-round pick in 2017.

Co-captain Stephen Coniglio played in an onball role with 36 takedowns at 92% efficiency, while co-captain Josh Kelly (29 takedowns) continued his strong midfield form for the Giants.

The Giants shared the goals with youngster James Peatling giving three major kicks and six players including Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan finishing with two.

Tim Kelly (23 eliminations) and Jack Redden (20) battled hard in the Eagles midfield and Alex Witherden (18) looked to provide defense short on defence.

Andrew Gaff got off to a slow start on his return to the Eagles lineup with just five first-half eliminations before spending more time on the ball to finish with 19 touches.

The Giants will face a tougher test when they take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday while the Eagles take on the Western Bulldogs at home.

(C) AAP 2022

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