HE HAS a host of big names missing but Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron refused to accept any excuses for his side's woeful 56-point loss to Hawthorn in Canberra on Friday night.
The Giants went into the round 21 clash without midfield guns Josh Kelly (calf), Stephen Coniglio (knee), Callan Ward (knee) and Matt de Boer (shoulder), tall forwards Harry Himmelberg (calf) and Jeremy Finlayson (hamstring), and important defender Sam Taylor (hamstring).
Things got even worse when onballer Jacob Hopper (hamstring) was added to the injury list before the match.
Toby Greene shows the pain of defeat. Picture: AFL Photos
The Giants' defeat though, in which they failed to kick a goal in the second half, was a shocker.
The Hawks' midfield dominated early and helped them to the first three goals of the game, and while the home side managed to seize some momentum in the first half, they were well beaten after the long break.
GIANTS' COSTLY LOSS Full match coverage and stats
"We are embarrassed, let's be honest," Cameron said post-match.
"It was probably one of our worst losses for a long time, so we have to put our hands up and take responsibility for that.
"We got touched up around the footy in contested ball, and win, lose or draw, we pride ourselves on that.
"Embarrassing is a pretty harsh word but we're not going to run away from it."
The Giants and Hawks had to brave rain and even some light snowfall in the first half as the temperature hovered around two degrees for most of the night at UNSW Canberra Oval.
However, Cameron rubbished suggestions his players were affected by the conditions.
"That’s a stupid statement really," he said.
"It wouldn't matter if it was sunny out there, they probably still would have won with that appetite for the contest.
"That’s a silly statement."
SNOW WAY! Giants and Hawks brave elements in Canberra
The Giants expect to have Kelly, de Boer and Himmelberg available for next Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs, but Cameron said personnel wasn't the issue against the Hawks, and his players can't expect a quick fix when some stars return.
"Would we prefer them out there? Definitely," he said.
"Absolutely having them in the side makes a difference, but we can't say that’s the reason for the nine-goal loss.
"Some of those players will come back over the next few weeks, but at the end of the day there's 22 out there, and we're disappointed with what we served up.
WATCH Leon Cameron's full post-match media conference
"It was totally unacceptable.
"One or two players isn't going to make a difference, we need to get our minds right for the Dogs."
Nick Haynes coped a couple of heavy knocks on Friday night and Brett Deledio finished the match on the bench with a tight calf, but Cameron said both should be ready to face the Bulldogs.
Cameron said Hopper and Finlayson may be available for the last home and away game of the year against Gold Coast on the road, but it’s possible they could be out until the first week of finals.
Taylor isn't expected to feature until the finals, while Coniglio is at long odds to get back this season.