GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron insists he still has long-term plans to employ his young key forwards in a three-pronged attack, despite experimenting with Jonathon Patton in defence against the Gold Coast.

Patton kicked two goals in the first half, but spent significant time in the second and fourth quarters at centre half-back in the Giants’ 40-point defeat.

With Gold Coast losing Tom Nicholls with a calf injury before the match, Rory Thompson was moved into the ruck, which should have left the visitors with a significant size advantage in their forward line but they could not take advantage.

Five talking points: Gold Coast v Greater Western Sydney

Cameron feels the two number one draft picks (Patton and Tom Boyd) and best young forward in the competition, Jeremy Cameron - who booted four despite being held to nine touches by Steven May - will develop into a dangerous threesome, but cautioned onlookers not to expect this in the near future.

“We like playing three talls. There will be times we go in with two and there will be times we go in with three, as long as they are all progressing in the right direction we’ll be happy.” Cameron said.

“We talked about developing other areas of Jon’s game - like Boydy developing as a second option in the ruck.

“He started forward, and I thought he was particularly dangerous as a forward at times, but we also wanted him to go back and help our defenders.”

With co-captain Phil Davis out for the foreseeable future and Tim Mohr battling back from a knee injury, the Giants are short of options at the back and the Suns’ Tom Lynch took full advantage of this, kicking five goals.

“We know we’re a little undersized there,” Cameron said.

“We've got a few defenders working their way back and a few young defenders working their way through the NEAFL but I thought when (Patton) went back he showed something.

“It’s going to be a work in progress. Patton’s only played eight (games), Boydy’s only played two and Cameron’s played 40. It’s great just to see Patton play.

“Forward is a tough position. Key forwards, especially young ones, take years and years (to develop).

“They're learning how hard AFL football is. You have good defences against them every week and also good midfielders pushing back.”

The Giants will hope Boyd’s development is not hindered by a sore wrist, the result of a collision in a marking contest with Jarrod Harbrow in the first quarter.

Boyd was substituted in the third quarter, though Cameron suggested he would have been removed regardless of the injury.

“He seems okay, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Cameron said.

“He was a little bit sore but also we thought we needed a little bit of run - it was 26 degrees so tough going out there, especially for a second-game player.”