Giants set for AFL response: coach Cameron

The GWS Giants are confident of bouncing back from their AFL loss to Hawthorn against Carlton.
The GWS Giants are confident of bouncing back from their AFL loss to Hawthorn against Carlton.

GWS hope it's a case of home is where the wholehearted is on Sunday, when they seek to bounce back against Carlton after a woeful AFL loss and week of self-analysis.

The Giants were embarrassed last Sunday in a 33-point defeat to Hawthorn, which board member Jimmy Bartel described as the "worst performance" in club history.

Coach Leon Cameron declared on Thursday that he expects a strong response against the last-placed Blues, whose competitive loss to Collingwood in the previous round suggests they won't be the easy-beats that the ladder suggests.

Cameron and his assistants, football manager Wayne Campbell, captain Phil Davis plus other senior players were stunned by the nature of the defeat and have since been searching for answers regarding the cause of the malaise.

The fact GWS are returning to Giants Stadium, where they will host a pre-game citizenship ceremony for 300 people in partnership with Multicultural NSW, for the first time since April 6 has not been lost on anyone at the club.

However, Cameron and company won't use the nomadic stretch as any form of excuse.

The venue was off limits during Sydney's Royal Easter Show, during which the expansion side played two home matches in Canberra plus an SCG derby.

"We all know it's such a unique situation," Cameron said.

"We've had that since we've been in existence, but there's no doubt our players get a buzz coming back after being on the road.

"It's in fantastic nick.

"You've got to make sure you build on your home-ground advantage and we've got to build on that."

The six-week gap, coupled with returning to western Sydney late on a Sunday afternoon, isn't ideal for a club trying to attract new fans in the notoriously fickle marketplace.

But GWS chief executive Dave Matthews has no complaints, suggesting the AFL is "as accommodating as they can be" given the unique fixture challenge.

"Sometimes it's about trying to avoid any major travel within that period but the reality is we've got an unbelievable partnership with the ACT government ... and our track record has been good in Canberra," Matthews said.

"It was very nice this year to get two games away at Giants Stadium before the Easter Show."

Foundation Giants Phil Davis, Stephen Coniglio and Jeremy Cameron are among the old hands who took charge early in this week of introspection.

GWS, the only side to have beaten ladder-leading flag favourites Geelong this season, will likely slide out of the top four if they lose to Carlton.

Australian Associated Press