The Greater Western Sydney Giants, thanks to managing to end the home-and-away season of the Toyota 2017 AFL Premiership competition in the top four, gained a reprieve following their first round finals loss to the Adelaide Crows and will seek redemption in the September 16 semifinal against the West Coast Eagles at Spotless Stadium.
While we certainly appreciate the redemption aspects afforded the Giants, does finishing in the top four truly justify having a home final after losing in the first round?
For that matter, the Geelong Cats used up eight lives when the Richmond Tigers skinned them at MCG in QF2 and yet, the Cats will host the Sydney Swans, who have staged one of the most remarkable turnarounds in the history of the game and backed that with a dominant win over the Essendon Bombers.
The Giants have a tall order ahead of them, even if they do have home ground advantage over the Eagles. They will play without the services of their star forward Jeremy Cameron and ruckman Shane Mumford, both of who are done for the season after encountering injuries in the loss to the Crows.
For Cameron, it was his third hamstring tear of the year and Mumford has a fractured bone in his foot. Some observers maintain the positionthat Cameron and Mumford are the most important players on the Giants’ list.
Cameron, in particular will be missed, as he has led the Giants in goal kicking for the Giants for the past six seasons. That being said, it is possible that his hamstring was hampering him when the Giants played the Crows and Cameron’s name was totally missing in action in terms of goal kicking at the Adelaide Oval.
Giants co-captain Callan Ward spouted the party line, “You can’t blame injuries, it’s part of the game,” Ward said. “We’ve been unlucky but other clubs have as well. We have to deal with it and play the best footy we can with the 22 we’ve got.”
In short, the Giants reserves will have to fill the void.