Geelong overcame a slow start and a spirited performance from Greater Western Sydney to post a 65-point victory at Simonds Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The competition new boys took the game right up the reigning premiers and were clearly the better side in the first half.
But after scores were tied at half-time, the Cats put their foot down with a dominant third term powering them to the 19.12 (126) to 9.7 (61) victory.
With a host of senior players missing, Geelong lost Corey Enright (foot), Joel Corey (shoulder) and Steven Motlop (shoulder) before the game as they fielded seven players with less than 20 games experience.
Experienced stars James Kelly, Steve Johnson, Paul Chapman and Jimmy Bartel all picked up the slack to get the Cats over the line despite a relatively quiet game from captain Joel Selwood, who appeared to pick up a thigh injury in the opening term.
Johnson was sensational in the second half, kicking four of his five goals, and he finished the match with 25 disposals and 12 marks.
Kelly had 32 touches, but could come under scrutiny from the match review panel after a head high bump on Toby Greene in the third quarter, while Chapman (26 and two goals) and Bartel (32) also saw plenty of the ball.
Harry Taylor celebrated his 100th game in style with six goals as he played as a permanent forward in place of the injured Tom Hawkins.
There was plenty of upside for the Giants with a number of encouraging performances from their exciting youngsters.
Jeremy Cameron was superb with a hand in five of the Giants' first six goals, but he quietened down once premier full-back Matthew Scarlett was moved onto him.
Stephen Coniglio enjoyed a day out with 27 touches and nine marks, while Callan Ward (23) and Dylan Shiel (21 and two goals) were also solid contributors.
GWS made an explosive start with the opening three goals to stun the shell-shocked Cats, who were outplayed for much of the first term.
Cameron was in everything early, setting up Coniglio for the opener, booting one himself and then setting up Adam Treloar as the Giants took an early 18-point lead.
Geelong finally scored their first goal 17 minutes into the quarter through Jesse Stringer and quickly added another when James Podsiadly took a strong grab.
Another Cameron assist enabled Ward to kick the Giants' fourth, but the Cats gradually worked their way back into contest with the final two goals as the two sides entered the quarter-time break with scores tied.
GWS again jumped the Cats with the opening two goals of the second term with Cameron once more showing he has a bright future with a cracking set shot from the boundary line.
Geelong laboured their way back into the game with Taylor converting from a tight angle before Chapman booted his 300th career goal with a long bomb as the two sides headed into the main break with scores level.
That would be as close as the Giants would get though as the Cats finally came to life in the third quarter.
Johnson was the catalyst with two majors and an assist for Chapman, while Cameron Guthrie and Orren Stephenson also chimed in with the first goals of their careers.
Taylor soccered through his third of the afternoon to extend the hosts' lead to 40 points before Giants substitute Dom Tyson finally stopped the rot with a clever snap in the closing stages of the quarter.
GWS threatened a comeback with the opening goal of the final quarter but Johnson slammed that door shut with an outrageous checkside goal from the boundary line and a set shot in the space of a minute.
Taylor capped off a fine performance with three of the final four goals, although he is likely to return to his customary role down back next week against Carlton.
GEELONG: 4.2, 7.3, 13.8, 19.12 (126)
GWS GIANTS: 4.2, 7.3, 8.5, 9.7 (61)
GOALS: Geelong: Taylor 6, Johnson 5, Podsiadly 3, Chapman 2, Stringer, Guthrie, Stephenson
GWS Giants: Cameron 2, Treloar 2, Shiel 2, Coniglio, Ward, Tyson
BEST: Geelong: Johnson, Kelly, Chapman, Bartel, Taylor, Scarlett
GWS Giants: Coniglio, Ward, Shiel, Cameron, Greene, Treloar
INJURIES: Geelong: Selwood (thigh)
GWS Giants: Townsend (jaw)
CHANGES: Steven Motlop (shoulder), Corey Enright (foot), Joel Corey (shoulder) replaced in Geelong's selected side by Tom Gillies, Jesse Stringer and Billie Smedts
UMPIRES: Fleer, Leppard, McInernery
CROWD: 17,243 at Simonds Stadium