Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron says the AFL finals will come three weeks early for his side in their must-win derby against Sydney Swans.
The Giants slumped to a 21-point loss against Port Adelaide last weekend, leaving them in need of a flawless run home to have any chance of a maiden finals berth.
Cameron says his team will have no trouble getting themselves psyched for the grudge match at Spotless Stadium – a contest they have won only once.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher. Obviously we need to win, and they need to win as well,” he said.
“The rivalry is starting to become real, and we feel as though we’re starting to, at least, live up to our end of the bargain in terms of on-field, harder performances.
“It’s a great opportunity for 44 players to have one hell of a crack.”
The Giants wilted late-on in a niggly contest in Adelaide after leading with a quarter to go.
Cameron said the young side’s mixed performance would serve as a learning curve beyond this season.
“That 15-minute patch in the last quarter all those little things that add up to a winning result folded, whether it be centre bounce, or spoiling, or missed tackles,” he said.
“That probably hurt us in that 15-minute period where they kicked four, five unanswered goals.
“But we stood up in such a hostile environment which is great.”
There was both good news and bad news on the Giants’ injury front.
Young midfielders Stephen Coniglio and Adam Treloar are set to return for the `Battle of the Bridge’, while co-captain Phil Davis was officially ruled out for the season with a hamstring strain.
Midfielder Matt Buntine remains in doubt after suffering a second concussion in three weeks against Fremantle a fortnight ago, as is Devon Smith after a knee complaint.
“These are the games that these guys want to play in, great atmosphere, great crowd,” said Cameron.
“It’s disappointing to lose (Davis), he was having a great game as well.
“But I’m confident we can replace Phil, it’s always great having your captain out there but the (NEAFL) guys have shown some really great form.”