Every game for the past month has been a final for GWS and coach Leon Cameron, and another must-win game comes with a big decision as their finals spot goes on the line this Saturday.
Former Kangaroos and Demons big man Braydon Preuss is a chance to make his Giants debut, with veteran Shane Mumford to be rested for the clash that will determine where GWS finishes on the ladder.
Mumford, 35, hasn’t played more than two matches in a row as Cameron nursed him through 2021. Preuss is finally ready to go after a shoulder reconstruction in February and then rupturing a pectoral in late May.
Whether Pruess comes straight into the AFL team in such a crunch match is to be decided.
“It’s good for our footy club. Mummy can only play a week, at best two in a row with the injuries he’s carrying. Preuss all of a sudden is going to put his name up,” Cameron said.
“The way he’s moved last week is really pleasing. It’s a heavy discussion. We have learned our lesson when we push (Mumford) out too much. He’s 35 and carrying a lot of injuries, so we have that decision.
“We won’t be risking anyone this week. We can’t afford to with the situation we are in.”
Giants coach Leon Cameron has a big decision to make. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Captain Stephen Coniglio also completed 50 minutes of match play in a scratch match against Richmond last weekend and could return from a toe injury that has kept him out since round 18.
Superstar Toby Greene will come back from suspension and defender Phil Davis is in contention.
GWS is seventh on the ladder and will finish there with a win over the Blues, but the Giants could tumble out of the top eigh with defeat.
Cameron said his men had been playing on that edge for a month, helping them to wins over Geelong and Richmond in recent weeks.
“When we had a chat about four or five weeks ago when we were bubbling around that 10th or 11th spot, we said every week has got to be like a final for us,” Cameron said.
“We know the situation, we have to win to stay in, and we’ll be approaching it the same manner as we’ve been approaching it the last three or four weeks.
“Right now we sit seventh, and we need to hold on to that by beating Carlton this week.”
Cameron said the issue confronting his team could be “magnified” with retiring Carlton superstar Eddie Betts playing his 350th and final game
“My take is you acknowledge these guys with your best performance, and that‘s what we have to do,” Cameron said.
“We need to make sure we play our best footy because clearly they‘re going to want to play their best footy for Eddie, and so they should.”
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