Greater Western Sydney Giants stun Geelong Cats with upset win

Steve Johnson claimed a victory over his former AFL club at the first attempt as Greater Western Sydney stunned Geelong by 13 points in Canberra.

Off-season signing Johnson booted two goals and laid a few hard hits on ex-teammates in the hearty 13.11 (89) to 11.10 (76) victory at a sold-out Manuka Oval on Sunday.

It was the Giants' first win of the season and their first in five clashes against Geelong.

The Giants almost let slip a 37-point lead in the third term but some solid defensive work and a late goal to Ryan Griffen sealed one of the biggest wins in the expansion club's brief AFL history.

GWS hardly saw the ball early but managed to take a two-point lead into the first break.

After kicking the first goal in the first minute, Geelong failed to add another in a term of wasted opportunities.

It came back to hurt them in the second quarter as GWS dominated the stoppages and booted six goals to four.

A major to ruckman Shane Mumford on the siren gave them a 15-point advantage at half-time.

They enjoyed a near-perfect third term, but let slip a couple of late goals.

The Cats rode that momentum into the final quarter with five unanswered majors, two of them to forward Tom Hawkins, but it was too little too late.

Johnson, who finished with 23 disposals, made sure he made the highlights reel with a crunching tackle on Cory Gregson early in the game, as did Mumford with a flooring ball-and-all tackle that knocked out Mitch Duncan and forced him off in the third quarter.

A superb mark and goal to Will Hoskin-Elliott moments later capped off an entertaining few minutes of footy.

Johnathon Patton had an indifferent first senior game of 2016 for GWS, missing a few shots at goal.

The Cats' star recruit Patrick Dangerfield was limited to just 22 disposals, a far cry from his 43 in last week's win over Hawthorn.

Giants' coach Leon Cameron said the win was important for the side, especially as the competition rolls on.

"It's a significant win for us," Cameron said.

"It's a brutal and relentless competition and we saw that in the ebbs and flows in the game.

"You think you've got control and then you don't. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day if your intent is not right and that's the message to our players."

Johnson ensured he made the highlights reel with a crunching tackle on Cory Gregson, as did ruckman Shane Mumford (33 hitouts) with a flooring ball-and-all tackle that knocked Mitch Duncan out.

Cameron said he was pleased with the 32-year-old former Cats' second game for GWS.

"Steve Johnson just keeps on keeping on," he said.

"He's a competitor."

Forward Tom Hawkins was a standout for the Cats, kicking three goals, with Mark Blicavs and Rhys Stanley adding two apiece.

They were a far cry from the side that beat reigning premiers Hawthorn by 30 points in round one, as superstar Patrick Dangerfield was kept to just 23 touches.

They kicked just 1.5 in the opening quarter, which they dominated.

"We were just poor," coach Chris Scott said.

"We got beaten around the clearances, we got beaten in the contested ball - badly.

"We didn't quite nail our chances which was a bit uncharacteristic on the part of a few of our individuals."

But Scott refused to blame complacency or a step down in opposition.

"If we're going to be a footy club that says `oh, we played well against the reigning premiers last week and we only had a six day break and they had eight and we had to go to Canberra' then I'm going to quit," he said.

"But we're not like that. We don't make excuses."