Sports

Giants desperate to bounce back with reinforcements on the way

GWS coaching staff will spend the weekend meticulously reviewing Friday night's capitulation to Geelong before demanding a swift response from their players next Saturday at home against high-flying West Coast.

The Giants managed just four goals against the Cats, producing the second-lowest score in their history, and finished with a kicking efficiency of less than 50 per cent which led coach Leon Cameron to label his side as below A-grade standard in his post-match press conference.

Second best: GWS defender Aidan Corr of the Giants gets bailed up by Geelong's Scott Selwood.

Photo: AAP

Just days before the 61-point loss, North Melbourne great Wayne Carey declared the Western Sydney club were incapable of making the grand final unless they altered their playing style.

"We haven't played great footy the last couple of weeks, we understand that," Giants head of football Wayne Campbell said.

"Last night was really, really disappointing on a lot of levels. Our skill level has let us down so we need to go back and assess and work out why that's the case and come up with a plan to ensure that next week that doesn't happen."

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Reinforcements could be on the way for Saturday's clash with the Eagles at Spotless Stadium, with Giants staff hopeful of recalling at least some of their stars who missed the Geelong game through injury.

Spearhead Jeremy Cameron is most likely to return, after he sat out the Geelong game with a toe injury.

Cameron's absence was sorely felt on the scoreboard by GWS, with key forward Jonathon Patton forced to play long stretches in the ruck to cover for the injured Rory Lobb.

Patton was the only player in the Giants' top eight goal kickers last year who was on the park against the Cats, and failed to hit the scoreboard.

He was aided by Lachlan Keeffe on Friday playing his first AFL game since 2014, the pair splitting the load after the omission of Dawson Simpson two weeks ago, but Campbell felt the rucking situation was not the root of his side's issues.

"In isolation I don't think that's been too much of a problem," Campbell said.

"Given that we've had three different ruckmen in three weeks, it does lack some continuity in there so maybe the chemistry's not as good as it could be."

Lobb continues to battle a knee injury, and may struggle to be fit again in time for the West Coast clash, with the following weekend's encounter against North Melbourne in Hobart a more likely return date.

Josh Kelly (groin) is in a similar boat, as is veteran Brett Deledio who missed the Cats game with a hamstring injury.

Toby Greene (foot) and Tom Scully (ankle) remain longer term propositions.

"In an ideal world you don't have to deal with it [injuries], but we have to, it's our lot," Campbell said.

"Medical and conditioning staff are doing incredibly hard work to get them back. That's an issue that's out of our control to an extent but what is in our control is the way we play.

"Until we get them back we've got to put in better performances than what we did last night. We feel like we've got the list to do it, we feel like we're putting a good 22 out there.

"The coaches will work hard over the next 48 hours to come up with some reasons as to why we performed like we did and some solutions so that when we go up against West Coast that we put in a better performance."

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James Buckley

James Buckley writes on AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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