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Big bump cost Giants a leader: Cameron

Cameron bemoans bump on Ward Watch GWS coach Leon Cameron's post-match press conference

THERE was little saving Greater Western Sydney from a significant loss when an off-the-ball bump from Adelaide's Richard Douglas on Callan Ward saw the Giants' skipper subbed with concussion at half-time. 

The match was heading towards an inevitable result, but the loss of their most experienced player destroyed any possibility of a comeback for the Giants. 

Ward was casually following Crow Brodie Smith, who was lining up for a long shot at goal, when he was flattened by Douglas, sparking heated scenes as Giants players looked to remonstrate. 

The hit didn't appear high, but the fact Ward wasn't involved in the play and was concussed suggests Douglas will have a case to offer at the Match Review Panel. 

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Giants coach Leon Cameron refused to pass judgment on Douglas, but admitted leaving the responsibility of leading the club to a squad of youngsters made it difficult to mount a comeback. 

"We've got 19 players under 50 games, our average games is about 30 … to have one of your 100-game players go down half way through the second quarter was disappointing. 

"It's hard for me to judge at this stage until you have another very good look at it. 

"It's obviously controversial, the bump, but from our point of view it was just disappointing to lose him considering that leadership we do need. 

"Then you rely on a five-gamer, or a seven-gamer or a 31-game player to actually try and pick us up off the canvas when we started to lose control." 

Cameron confirmed Ward suffered concussion in the incident. 

Having only seen the replay of the bump once, Crows coach Brenton Sanderson didn't venture an opinion, but said that Douglas didn't believe it was the type of hit that would land him in trouble. 

"It's not for me to judge what the Match Review Panel will decide, but I probably can't have a strong opinion on it when I've only seen one replay," Sanderson said. 

"I spoke to Ward after the game, he was fine. 'Dougy' thought it was a clean bump, but once again we'll have to wait and see." 

Although Cameron's Giants were beaten by almost 11 goals, the 65-point margin was half that of their previous loss to the Crows – a 135-point embarrassment in round seven last year. 

Cameron said while the Crows were allowed to free wheel for 40 minutes before half-time, the Giants' fight in the second half was encouraging. 

"The last 10 minutes [of the first quarter] I thought we dropped away with our effort and then the second quarter was really disappointing," he said. 

"There's the game …the 40 minutes of footy we were non-competitive. 

"I was really pleased we fought out the second half, but you can't allow a good side like Adelaide 30-40 minutes of free-wheeling footy where they can do whatever they want. 

"They did it last week against St Kilda, they did it this week against us. They're playing some really good footy, I expect the them to be a top-eight side." 

Twitter:@AFL_Harry