20/05/2024

Photo: Sydney Swans

Toby Greene showed why he has been thrust into a leadership role at GWS, inspiring the Giants to a win over the Sydney Swans in Sydney Derby XX.

Toby Greene has not always been a popular player outside of the GWS Giants, but he has long been a leader inside the club.

In the absence of nominated captain Stephen Coniglio, and talismanic leader Phil Davis, Toby Greene stood tall on Saturday as the leader of the Giants.

While the night may have been the least accurate of his career, with one goal and seven behinds, he stood up in the tough moments.

Greene failed to kick a major until just a handful of minutes remained in the game, his late goal bringing the Giants within a goal and setting the stage for the eventual climax.

He made his presence felt at almost every opportunity, with a performance befitting of a leader.

Thrust into a leadership role last week, Greene climbed to the heights of giants, flying for contested marks at every opportunity.

He finished with a stat line that reflected his efforts, with 18 disposals, 12 contested possessions, four contested marks, and most critically, 11 score involvements.

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While the Giants were inexperienced and inaccurate in front of the goals, the effort and youthful enthusiasm eventually shined through.

Coach Leon Cameron noted his side’s inexperience post-game,

“We are really young – probably the youngest side in the comp,” he said.

“We had nine players with less than 20 games, they have the opportunity to be thrown into some of these matches, it’s great exposure to high intensity footy.

“It’s a great experience to play in games like that, and we’re really proud of that.”

Cameron lauded Greene’s efforts after the game, describing the character of his stand-in captain.

“He’s a special player to want big moments,” Cameron said.

“We wanted him deep those last 5 minutes or so, and he probably could have kicked a couple more, but he’s a special talent, a special player, led us again from the front.

“If it had gone the other way it would have been a huge night, but he never gives up and the players playing behind him just love him.”

Cameron was excited about the development of his inexperienced Giants, and their persistence in the game.

“We kept hanging in there and hanging in there,” he said.

Despite the scoreboard not always reflecting the progress they have been making, Cameron believed the group is on the right track.

“We were good against Melbourne barring the last 6 or 7 minutes, with a few injuries,” he said.

“I’m proud of where this group is going, and I knew the progress would come eventually.”

The Giants will bask in the victory before a huge Friday night clash with the Bulldogs to kick off round six.

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