GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron labelled Toby Greene "a special player" after the superstar inspired his team to a 12-point win over reigning premiers Richmond.
Greene kicked five goals on his return to the side after missing the loss to Brisbane last week due to shin soreness, and proved the difference at Giants Stadium on Friday night.
The 26-year-old had 18 possessions and eight marks to go with his bag of goals.
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"It was a fantastic performance," Cameron said.
"To kick five in a game is pretty special. He's a special player."
Cameron was happy to acknowledge Greene's importance to the team and how he acts as an inspiration to his teammates.
"He's an important player for us. He causes instability for the opposition defence because of his workrate and competitiveness. We missed him last week," he said.
"What we do love is that he hates getting beaten and he's always in the contest.
"The reason he can bob up and kick five goals is that he never gives up, that's his greatest trait.
"Our players love playing with him because he drives the players beside him to be better."
The 182cm forward seemed to take responsibility for the game when it needed to be won in the final quarter, presenting across half-back and taking an important mark when the Giants were struggling to move the ball out of their defensive 50.
He later went on to kick the goal that turned out to be the sealer.
"He's a bull at a gate. His consistency and his effort is always there, and his output is normally there as well," Cameron added.
"He can play on-ball, he can play forward, he can play anywhere we feel we need him at any particular time.
"He's just a competitor. Most competitors in every side find a way, and that's what he does."
The final quarter looked at times like being a tussle between two players wearing No.4 on their backs – the other being Richmond's Dustin Martin, who ended the game with 23 touches and two goals.
"You're talking about some elite talent. When he [Martin] was starting to hurt us after half-time we had a lot of discussion about whether we need to play closer, give more attention to him," Cameron said.
"But he's so clever, Martin, he does it forward, then he creeps into the midfield, then he goes back forward. So he's really hard to mark up.
"Down the other end I was really pleased that Toby kicked some telling goals when we needed him to. And the last one gave us that little bit of breathing space, which allowed us to run the clock down in the last couple of minutes."
Cameron isn't concerned about how Greene – and other Giants – will handle the coming compressed fixtures and short breaks between matches.
"Toby will try to play every day. He'll think he's right. But sometimes he's his own worst enemy, because he's so brave," he said.
"No doubt we'll have to rotate some players. But the 100 minutes of footy compared to the 130 [minutes], means most players are pulling up better than if we were playing a game like last year. But the intensity is pretty full-on."
The Giants start a block of away games against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium next Sunday.