GWS Giants coach Leon Cameron has labelled Saturday’s clash against West Coast in Perth as his rising AFL club’s biggest challenge.
The Giants have surged to second on the back of three wins in four games, but have suffered four heavy losses from as many matches at Domain Stadium, with an average margin of defeat across those games just shy of 100 points.
Cameron viewed Saturday’s game as the latest in a series of challenges for the Giants over the past year, which included winning back-to-back games for the first time and breaking through for their maiden victories in Melbourne and Brisbane.
“This is probably the biggest challenge because we play on a ground that probably hasn’t served us well over the past three or four years, but it’s one that we look forward to,” Cameron said on Wednesday.
“The challenge for our young group coming into our fourth year is that we need to come over and play with the sort of confidence we’ve been playing with for the last four weeks.
“Because if you go over there and probably surrender to that 40,000 crowd of West Cost supporters or the way that they play, which is a good style, then you’re on the back foot from the start.
“I look at it as a 50-50 game and our players will go over there, no doubt for the first time in the last three or four years, (believing) that they can compete against the Eagles.”
He said his backline was a lot more settled than at the corresponding time last year and was optimistic it could contain a high-scoring Eagles attack, who are averaging a competition equal-high 104 points per game.
“We came into the year saying `can we come down from 105 points a game to probably 90′, currently we sit around 74, 75 points,” Cameron said.
He was also happy with the development of second-year forward Cam McCarthy, who leads the Giants’ goalkicking list with 13, two ahead of star spearhead Jeremy Cameron.
“We all see the end result, which is two or three or four goals, but his ability to cover ground has probably surprised us a little bit,” Cameron said.
“His ability to play 85 to 90 per cent of the game has surprised us.”
GWS GIANTS’ HORROR RECORD AT DOMAIN STADIUM – PLAYED 4 LOST 4 WITH AN AVERAGE LOSING MARGIN OF 98.5 POINTS
2014 v West Coast: lost by 111 (188-77)
2014 v Fremantle: lost by 76 (136-60)
2013 v Fremantle: lost by 113 (157-44)
2012 v Fremantle: lost by 95 (132-37)