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Bye coming at the right time for 'banged up' Giants: Cameron

Bye coming at a good time for 'banged-up' Giants Leon Cameron says he is looking forward to a week off stating his side will need time to recover from a very physical game

THE GIANTS might be second on the ladder heading into their bye next weekend, but they are "a little bit banged up" according to coach Leon Cameron.

Cameron explained that he was pleased with the way his side tackled its way to a 23-point win over North Melbourne in Hobart on Sunday, but his players were feeling the effects of a bruising encounter.

Forced to scrap for ascendancy during a tight first half, the Giants finally broke North's resistance with seven unanswered goals from midway through the third term.

GIANTS CLIMB HIGHER Full match coverage and stats

The Giants' relentless tackling really caught Cameron's eye as his side bounced back to the winners' list after last week's loss in Adelaide.

"When you get beaten you always want to respond (and) I think it was done in a really good manner," he said.

"We really tackled our way to probably two or three goals up (in the third quarter).

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"To have 90-plus tackles in a game against a side that tackles really, really well was pleasing and I thought probably in that second half it made the difference."

The Giants won the tackle count by 90-74 and clearances by 56-41 and were able to use the ball more effectively on the outside once it had been won at the coalface.

The likes of Josh Kelly and Tim Taranto feasted on uncontested possessions and moved the ball forward at every opportunity.

WATCH Leon Cameron's full post-match press conference

"Ahead of the footy we probably needed to react a little bit better," Cameron said of his side's first struggles to make their dominance on the ball count.

"I thought we got that balance right after half-time and when it went in there I thought our forwards did a wonderful job to keep it in there."

Having displaced Collingwood in second place behind Geelong, the Giants are beautifully poised to make a run towards the top-four in September, but Cameron is in no doubt the break has come at a good time for his side.

 

"We're nine-and-four and probably a little bit banged up at the moment, a bit like everyone coming into the bye… so we need a little bit of a spell," he said.

"Ours is a really short bye, in 10 days we play Essendon at Marvel on a Thursday night.

"It was a really physical game. Our guys are going to need 48 to 72 hours to get over this game.

"We need to recover and then get back on deck later in the week and it starts again."

 

While the big names won plenty of midfield possessions and Toby Greene kicked three goals on his return to the side, Cameron was thrilled by the performance of 25-year-old Jake Stein who put in a solid shift down back on debut for the Giants.

Formerly a Commonwealth Games decathlete, Stein played his part in a stingy GWS defence and managed to run out the game strongly despite suffering with cramp at times in the second half.

"Jake gets an opportunity, he's playing some really good footy in the NEAFL and it's a wonderful story to have in our backyard in Western Sydney that he's worked his craft and played his AFL footy," Cameron said.

"He didn't look like he missed a beat and we were really particularly pleased with what he did today.

"The challenge now is does he want to take up that spot and become a regular (in the) 22. What he did today was outstanding as a first-gamer coming in from another sport.

"We're really proud of him and he's going to put a lot of pressure on us in terms of selection going forward in the next few weeks."