LEON Cameron has backed a young defence led by Sam Taylor to blunt the impact of Lance Franklin and the rest of Sydney’s firing forward line.
Taylor has manned Franklin both times the teams clashed earlier this year and is sure to be handed the task again after the Giants elected not to recall former captain Phil Davis for the knockout final.
The 22-year-old key defender kept Franklin scoreless for the first half when they last met in round 18 but the superstar forward kicked four goals after the main break as the Swans overran the Giants to win by 26 points.
Franklin booted five goals straight when the teams faced each other earlier in the year although it wasn’t enough to stop the Giants claiming victory with a last-minute goal.
Davis delivered one of the best performances of his career when he kept Franklin goalless and gathered 18 disposals himself when the teams clashed in the 2018 elimination final.
But the 10-year Giants defender hasn’t been able to force his way back into the team since recovering from concussion sustained in round 20 with Jake Stein again preferred this week.
"I am really, really confident in Sam Taylor at the moment, he's on top of his game," Giants coach Cameron said.
"A lot of things don't seem to worry him as much, if he makes a mistake he'll get on with things, if he has a goal kicked on him, he shrugs his shoulders and moves on.
"It's going to be a massive challenge for Sam, Nick Haynes, Jake Stein and Connor Idun, because they'll all have opportunities in handovers, it's not just one set match up.
"But the majority of the time Sam will be there. He's learned a lot, he's in good form."
FOCUS ON THE FINAL Magical milestone not on Buddy's mind
The Giants have added Stephen Coniglio to their starting line-up and recalled Tom Green to boost an onball brigade that will take on an undermanned Swans midfield missing Callum Mills and Josh Kennedy.
Coniglio and Green will spend time playing forward as well as having a run through the midfield and Cameron is confident both will be able to play out the full game despite their lack of recent matches.
The Giants' captain has started one match since injuring his ankle and toe in round three but came on as medical sub for the final term against Carlton last week and backed up the following day to play more than 70 minutes in a VFL scratch match.
Green has been sidelined since round 20 with a hamstring injury but Cameron said he was fit to play last week.
"[Coniglio] is ready to play 75-80 per cent of footy, which is what most players do whether you're forward or mid. But he'll spend time forward, he'll spend time in the midfield,” Cameron said.
"He's had a good build up over the last couple of weeks. His touch is good, he's on top of the ground, I expect he's going to be a really good performer for us.
"Tom has been absolutely terrific for us this year. Sometimes having a rest from that week in, week out of battering footy like he plays, is really good."
Cameron was full of praise for Toby Greene who was named in a forward pocket in the Therabody All-Australian team, the second time he has earned a place in the elite team after also being selected in 2016.
With 42 majors from 17 matches Greene has had the fifth best goal average in the League (2.5) while adding the 40 behinds that he has also kicked puts the 27-year-old top for average shots on goal (5.8).
As vice-captain Greene has also stood-in as skipper when Coniglio has been sidelined, with the Giants winning eight matches and having a draw from the 14 times their superstar forward led the team.
"It's a wonderful performance, we're really proud of him,"Cameron said.
"He likes playing in big games but if you look across the competition you can reel off a lot of players that like playing in these big games because the spotlight is on them for 120 minutes.
"Toby likes that, our players love getting in behind him especially our front six knowing that he's giving everything that he's got because he's got that winning mentality, he just wants to win at all costs."