Flying high: Heath Shaw of the Giants attempts to mark over Jack Billings of the Saints. Photo: Robert CianfloneLeon Cameron’s public bake of Greater Western Sydney’s forwards has worked wonders as the ambitious Giants dare to dream big against Hawthorn.
Veteran defender Heath Shaw says the triple premiers hold no fears for the rising Giants, declaring another upset win over the Hawks was on the cards if they played at their best.
The Giants’ confidence is building after an impressive fortnight that has yielded a record win over Port Adelaide followed by a strong victory against St Kilda.
They were gallant in defeat against Sydney while their narrow loss in the opening round to Melbourne does not appear as bad now given the Demons’ improved form this year.
The Giants’ rise has coincided with a massive spike in output from their forwards, who have appreciated the extra opportunities afforded by a dominant midfield. Since being held to only 10 goals by the Swans after which their coach was very critical of their forward line, the Giants have amassed 41 goals in their last two games.
Jeremy Cameron’s seamless return to senior ranks leaves the Giants coaching staff in the enviable position of having their best forward line available and in form heading into the club’s biggest test of the season.
“We’re moving the ball a little bit better, even though there were parts that wasn’t great, so we’re giving them more opportunities,” coach Cameron said.
“We’ve definitely lifted the rate [of inside 50s] the last two weeks.
“They’re starting to put it together in the air and on the ground a little bit better
“We need to do it better next week. Hawthorn’s defence is so good at going from one end of the ground to the other we’ve got to make sure we make them accountable.”
The Hawks’ string of narrow escapes have not gone unnoticed at Homebush.
“If there’s three points in it halfway through the last quarter I’d nearly take that and see how we go,” Shaw said.
“The competition the way it is anyone is get-able.
“Saints played Hawthorn last week and nearly pinched a win down there, we’ll look at their previous weeks and go in confident that if we play our best footy we’ll get the job done.
“But they’re a quality outfit and have been for a long time and we’re going to have to be on our game and play to the best of our ability to get the job done.”
Nor will the Giants be intimidated, Shaw said, by a side which they defeated last year in the corresponding fixture, albeit missing two of their spiritual leaders Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis, and star backman James Frawley.
“It seems like an eternity ago we played them at home. I don’t think you fear any team, if you go into a game fearing the opposition you’re half beaten,” Shaw said.
“They’re a great team, it’s a great challenge, I know there’s 22 guys who will run out there next week having a fair dinkum crack and hope to get the job done.”
Shaw believes the Giants’ class of 2016 is “smarter” than last year when they were well placed to make a historic finals appearance only to lose eight of their last 12 games.
“The guys are getting extra games and being in tight situations and being in hard contests makes you a better player and you learn from your experience,” Shaw said.
“If you are a good player you learn from everything in the past. Our group is still developing and growing in confidence.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.