TWELVE months ago, with an opposition team coming hard and Greater Western Sydney's backs against the wall, coach Leon Cameron believes his team would've lost a game similar to Saturday’s clash against Collingwood.
Fast forward a year, and with an MCG hoodoo in the back of their minds and the Magpies leading by nine points five minutes into the final term, the Giants held on.
Cameron says a more mature and cohesive unit, seven years into their existence, is to thank.
"When big moments came around I thought everyone out on the field had moments that they'd look back and say ‘that's improvement’," Cameron said post-game.
"Probably this time last year, half our group mightn't have had those moments.
"In the end we found a way to win, and probably this time last year we probably would've lost that game."
Vice-captain Stephen Coniglio, who Cameron described as the "spirit" of the team, kicked two crucial final-quarter goals, while Josh Kelly laid 15 tackles – six more than any other player on the ground.
"It doesn't mean you have to kick a goal, you've just got to play your role and I think our players are understanding that.
"It doesn't have to be their day, but it can be their moment."
Cameron was proud of the way his team ran out the final 15 minutes of the match after seeing Tom Scully taken to hospital with a fractured ankle.
Returning to the MCG for the first time since their preliminary final loss to premiers Richmond last year, Cameron said the Giants’ history at the ground wasn't used as motivation during the week.
With one win from their previous 12 trips to the venue, Cameron said they had to soak up every experience with a round 23 clash against Melbourne their only other game at the ground during the home-and-away season.
WATCH: Lachie Whitfield goals at the MCG
"I'd love to play here seven or eight times a year if you could organise that," he said.
"The home of footy is the MCG. All our boys want to play here, there's no doubt in that.
"I don’t look at the grounds, I look at us (and) our ability to travel better.
"Whether it's the MCG, whether it's Etihad, Hobart or ‘Launny’ (Launceston) or wherever, we've got to make sure if we're going to be a good team we've got to travel better.
Midfielder turned half-back Lachie Whitfield was relieved to kick clear late in the game.
"I think we’ve always enjoyed playing here, we just haven’t really played to our potential.
"We were able to stand up under pressure. It doesn't really matter if it was the MCG or any other ground, it was about finishing off today."
The Giants have three other trips to Victoria for the rest of the season – two at Etihad Stadium and one match against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium - as well as the final round trip to the 'G'.