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Stevie J stars, GWS storm into AFL prelim

Greater Western Sydney have recorded a 67-point win over West Coast in their AFL semi-final, with Steve Johnson kicking six goals at Spotless Stadium.

Stevie J stars, GWS storm into AFL prelim

Greater Western Sydney have recorded a 67-point win over West Coast in their AFL semi-final, with Steve Johnson kicking six goals at Spotless Stadium.

Steve Johnson has wound back the clock in a 67-point win over West Coast, booting six goals as Greater Western Sydney stormed into an AFL preliminary final.

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GWS clinically ended the Eagles' season - and the careers of Sam Mitchell, Matt Priddis and Drew Petrie - by prevailing 19.11 (125) to 9.4 (58).


Recalled veteran Johnson will add at least one more chapter to a storied career, provided his dodgy knee holds up ahead of the Giants' preliminary final against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

"It's been a weekly struggle all year ... we'll get a better indication on Wednesday," GWS coach Leon Cameron said of Johnson's prospects of backing up.

Johnson kicked four goals in the third term of the Spotless Stadium semi-final, which was the most productive of his 25 finals.

"It was the knock to the back of my head that knocked some talent back into me," the 34-year-old, sporting a bandaged head, quipped to Channel Seven.

"I was always confident I could play a role even though I wasn't selected last week.

"It's not going to be this easy next week."

The heat was on GWS after last week's embarrassing loss to Adelaide but Leon Cameron's side responded ruthlessly.

The hosts opened up a 37-point lead early in the second quarter and never looked back.

The Giants regained their mojo, heaping pressure on the besieged Eagles while moving the ball with a potent mix of precision and pace.

Dylan Shiel, Nathan Wilson, Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene were among the Giants' best, having all been well below their top form against the Crows.

"There were 15 or 16 guys who would have looked themselves in the mirror and said that was unacceptable," coach Cameron said.

"We copped our right whack and so we should have.

"Now we go to the MCG. The challenge is can we produce that sort of pressure against the elite pressure side in the competition?"

Shiel booted the game's opening goal, which came after a nervy nine minutes, and had plenty of the ball.

Greene copped a painful blow to the head from Jeremy McGovern but managed to kick three goals, while Wilson's superboot was involved in so many of the Giants' surges forward.

Whitfield recovered from a jaw-rattling clash with Petrie on the cusp of halftime to finish with 28 disposals. Johnson proceeded to remonstrate with Petrie in one of the night's many spotfires.

Veteran defenders Heath Shaw and Phil Davis also spearheaded a notable lift in aggression from the Giants.

Aside from a couple of wasted chances in front of goal and a small crowd of 14,865, the only major concern for GWS was Nick Haynes' injury scare in the third term.

Haynes continued to play after hurting his knee, with Cameron confirming he should be fit to face Richmond.

The result means the top-four sides have all progressed to the penultimate week of the season.

"They were exceptional tonight and we got nowhere near," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said.

"We just weren't good enough. Everything we tried didn't work."


AAP



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