A brave GWS have overcome a fast-starting Adelaide and a host of injuries to claim a stirring 16-point victory for a dream start under new coach Adam Kingsley.
A four-goal haul from captain Toby Greene helped the Giants overrun the Crows, after giving them as much as a five-goal head start, to secure a 15.16 (106) to 12.18 (90) triumph at Giants Stadium on Sunday.
Greene was superb in his first game as standalone skipper, but the Giants had inspirational efforts across the field, including Brent Daniels kicking the sealer in his first game for 590 days.
The small forward finished with two goals after being sidelined by a series of hamstring issues, while the Giants had to hang on late with next to no support available from their bench on a day of injury carnage.
Harry Perryman (hamstring), Lachie Whitfield and Josh Kelly (both concussion) were forced from the field before the match was on the line, while Nick Haynes was restricted by cramps but kicked a late, team-lifting goal as the Crows were threatening.
Jacob Wehr also spent time on the bench being assessed for concussion after a heavy hit from Shane McAdam that is sure to come under the scrutiny of the match review officer.
Emerging onballer Tom Green (37 disposals) was prominent throughout, and former skippers Stephen Coniglio (32) and Callan Ward (31) helped lead the Giants’ second-half revival.
The Crows’ prized recruit Izak Rankine sparked his new club early but failed to make the Giants pay on the scoreboard with 2.5 from 18 disposals.
Josh Rachele showed his class with three goals, while the Crows’ new skipper Jordan Dawson had 23 polished possessions.
Former Crows captain Rory Sloane finished with 18 touches and played out the match despite being involved in accidental head clashes that forced a couple of Giants out of the contest.
Darcy Fogarty kicked two goals but could not make the distance from just outside 50 metres as the Crows made one last charge before Daniels kicked the final major of the match.
The Giants were surprisingly insipid early in Kingsley’s first game in charge, laying only two tackles in the opening term, but the Crows failed to make them pay with 4.9 to 2.2 on the scoreboard.
The hosts finally lifted when kicking the first four goals of the third term to reduce the margin to less than a goal, then gradually wore down the Crows, even with few reinforcements late in the game.
The Giants travel to Perth seeking to go 2-0 against West Coast on Sunday, while the Crows will be out to bounce back when they host Richmond on Saturday.