AFL Round 5 – Adelaide v GWS: No Miracle for GWS Giants in the City of Churches

Score a footy and Cats gear


Travelling interstate to watch your team is always an enjoyable, but sometimes challenging experience. At home, there’s plenty of support, at a stadium that’s familiar to us. But to jump on a plane costs money, and you’re in unfamiliar surroundings with a hostile crowd.

But even in the most hostile desert of interstate stadia, the small group behind the goals is a small oasis of support. At least there’s someone, although not many, to fly the flag and support the team.


And so it was that a small contingent of GWS Giants fans boarded the plane and travelled to Adelaide and descended on the picturesque Adelaide Oval to see the Giants play the Crows.

None of us really knew our way around Adelaide; and the ground was a new experience for all of us. It was the first time I’ve been there since 2007, and that was the most recent of any of us. And the only familiar feature was behind us, the hill and the iconic scoreboard, with the backdrop of St Peters Cathedral in the background.

The rest of the ground had been completely rebuilt with new stands. To our left, five inter-connected three-tiered stands along with a full row of corporate facilities named after footballing greats Gavin Wanganeen, Jack Oatey, Max Basheer, Fos Williams and Mark Ricciuto.

Long and straight at the other end was the Riverbank Stand, three tiers of seating. And to our right, on the western side, the cricket history is acknowledged in three members stands bearing the names of the Chappell brothers, Don Bradman and Sir Edwin Smith.

All the creature comforts and facilities that modern, professional sport requires; balanced with the backdrop that makes Adelaide Oval special. They’ve done a great job with the redevelopment, and it’s been reflected in the way the Adelaide public have supported matches there.

The ground was well populated. Not quite full, but a crowd of over 44,000 with minimal GWS representation was certainly impressive. The biggest crowd the Giants have ever played in front of.


It was Easter Sunday in the City of Churches. With key recruits Shane Mumford and Heath Shaw absent, it was the Giants who were looking for a miracle. It wasn’t to be, although the start was promising. For 20 minutes, the Giants outplayed their highly-fancied opponents around the ground; with Jeremy Cameron and Jed Lamb getting on the scoreboard to open up an eight-point lead.

And the Giants contingent on the ground was lapping it up. From the start, the cheer squad leader was on his feet. Heavily built, sporting a green headband and a booming voice, his cry of “Are you ready” spurred roars from the Giants crowd as each letter of “Giants” was called.

The Giants were a goal ahead as the clock ticked into time-on, but three late Adelaide goals saw the momentum switch to the home side. And the Adelaide fans around, who had been quiet until then, began to find their voice.


The second term was a shocker. The Giants had their most inexperienced team of the season to date, and became even more so as captain Callan Ward was injured and had to be subbed out of the game.

The Crows were running to our end in the second term, and the goals were flowing thick and fast. With each set shot, the cheer squad attempted to put the Adelaide players off their shot; flags, floggers, banners and body parts waving as calls of “Chewy on your boot” rang out. But it was to no avail as they couldn’t miss.

By the time the half-time siren sounded, the Crows were 49 points ahead and the contest was already as good as over. The Giants have never won an away game, and it was clear that wasn’t going to happen this time.


The second quarter was the first time this year the Giants had been comprehensively outplayed in a quarter. Under-manned, it looked a flashback to last year’s Giants.

But where the Giants of 2013 would have capitulated in the second half, this year’s side steadied the ship to some degree after half time. They were never going to get back in the game, and kept leaking goals; but at least they could keep the scoreboard on their side ticking over in the second half.

The third and fourth quarters turned into high-scoring shootouts. The Crows won each of those quarters by a goal; but on a day when injuries, umpiring calls and luck wasn’t running the Giants’ way, they kept working.

And the “we will never surrender” spirit was showing through among the small contingent of Giants fans. Standing, raising his arms and urging “EVERYBODY” to join in, the cheer squad kept trying hard to lift their team to keep going.

But it wasn’t easy when so vastly outnumbered by supporters of the home team, the winning team. And there were plenty of Crows chants to drown out ours. After a slow start to Adelaide’s season, the Crows had found some winning momentum, and their fans had responded as the game progressed.


The game came to an end, with the Crows running out 65-point winners. For the home side, it was a way to celebrate Scott Thompson’s 250th game in style, with both teams giving him a guard of honour as he was chaired off by two team-mates after the game.

For the Giants, our search for the elusive first win on the road continues. Hopefully it will be at the Gold Coast next Saturday.

But although the Giants were unable to take the points, it was an enjoyable visit. Adelaide Oval is an impressive venue and contains a great atmosphere. Watching a game around some awesome supporters from both sides. And seeing another step in the long road of our club’s development.

About Michael Shillito

GWS Giants foundation member and cheer squad member. It's been quite an adventure so far, and the best is yet to come.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Well done Michael and the , Giants supporters for making the trip , for mine , Mumford is your barometer having him and Shaw out is vital . While the Giants have drafted all this young talent ( Winngard and B Grundy serious errors ) experience is vital that is a area in which they have been poor and should have recruited more players from , SANFL , VFL and WAFL . The Giants tho are going to give you some excitement and great fun in the next few years thanks , Michael

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