GWS vow to defy AFL injuries and beat Port

It sounds simple enough: kick more goals – win more games.

But without three of their top-four scorers from last AFL season, Greater Western Sydney face a tough task on Sunday against Port Adelaide in Canberra.

Injury and suspension have decimated the Giants’ forward line, with star Jeremy Cameron serving the final week of his month-long ban and exciting duo Devon Smith (knee) and Will Hoskin-Elliott (quad) both sidelined.

Defender Aidan Corr (ankle) has also been ruled out of the match at Manuka Oval.

It’s opened the door for Adam Tomlinson and local boy Jack Steele, while Matt Buntine returns from a hamstring injury in place of Corr.

“It’s disappointing to have guys injured but it provides great opportunities for others,” Buntine said.

“We’re big believers in ‘squads win premierships’. If we lose one soldier, we have to back them up and come in and play our role – especially Tommo, Steeley and I this weekend.”

Coach Leon Cameron admitted his forwards failed to step up in last week’s 25-point loss to rivals Sydney.

Recruit Steve Johnson has been their leading goalscorer this season with five, matching the combined total of youngsters Rory Lobb and Jonathon Patton.

GWS kicked 10 goals in their losses to the Swans and Melbourne, and only 13 to beat Geelong last time they played in Canberra – their sole win of 2016.

But Buntine said the blame didn’t lie squarely on those up front.

“Certainly, we’ve struggled a little bit up forward,” he said.

“But it’s a bit of an even spread – part delivery, part forwards, part everything.

“Our effort’s been really good. We just need to capitalise on a few more inside 50s and hit the scoreboard a bit more.

“That’s a bit of a focus of ours, but first we need to win the ball in the trenches and get it going forward and defend well, because Port are a good side.”

Port, who beat Essendon by 61 points last round, welcome back star forward Chad Wingard and midfielder Hamish Hartlett from respective hamstring injuries.

Buntine said the classy pair’s return would bolster the Power’s attacking half.

“It’s going to be a big task for whoever comes up against them but we back our defenders,” he added.

“We want to take the game to them and not be too reactive and intimated by their names.”

The Giants have won three of their past four games in the nation’s capital, while Port have lost three of four at Manuka.

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