BIG BIG SOUND! Giants crowned 2021 Premiers with big win over the Saints

The Central Giants saved their best performance until last as they outplayed the Southern Saints to win the 2021 Premiership by 30 points at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.

Coming into the match as slight favourites, the Giants kicked 8 goal to 3 and snuffed out the attacking Saints, who were aiming to become the first club to win back to back titles.

The match started at a fast and frenetic pace and it took only 2 minutes for 2021 Golden Boot winner, James Southby to kick his first goal.

The Saints had their opportunities early on but couldn’t convert. Harley Jenkins was in hot form taking a number of contested marks through the middle of the ground but the Giants defence of Harison Manks, Brandon Sucu and Troy Brown was too strong for the Saints forwards.

It wasn’t until halfway through the second quarter when the Saints got on the board through key forward, Alex Fakatoumafi. The Giants were quick to respond as they won the centre clearance and Tristan Burnett slotted through his second goal.

The Giants continued their dominance through the middle of the ground in the second half, Best on ground, Tristan Burnett was superb as well as Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas and Ben Armstrong.

Chris Morel had a strong game, with multiple touches and was playing well off the half back flank. Young Will Anderson from Wellington was also great for the winning side.

The Saints kept the Giants goal less in the final term and sparked a small comeback kicking 2 goals, but the margin was too much as the Giants closed out the game to win by 30 points.

2021 Golden Boot winner, James Southby (Giants) was terrific in front of goal, kicking 4 goals for the game.

Giants Head Coach, Justin Gauci, was extremely proud of the squad.

“It’s been great to have been involved with the Giants this season. The team has worked hard and kept their focus over the past 3 months, which has got us to where we are today. Thanks to the Saints on a terrific game and we can’t wait for the 2022 season.”

It is the Giants second Premiership in the national competition, following their 2018 title and they will be hoping to become the first club to win back to back in 2022.

AFL New Zealand would like to thank the following organisations and people who helped achieve what was a fantastic competition.

Goal Scorers:

Central Giants: James Southby 4, Tristan Burnett 3, Lane McSkimming 1

Southern Saints: Conner Fair 1, Alex Fakatoumafi 1, Harley Jenkins 1

Best on ground:

Tristan Burnett – Central Giants