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Why Jeremy McGovern, Tom Barrass are causing GWS coach Leon Cameron headaches

Greater Western Sydney’s AFL derby performance last week was the stuff of nightmares, and the prospect of taking on West Coast’s talls has been giving Giants coach Leon Cameron even more cold sweats.

The Giants copped a barrage of criticism after posting their equal-lowest score in a shock 41-point loss to Sydney.

Although GWS won the inside 50m count 52-32, their lack of precision going forward came back to haunt them as the Swans’ defenders picked off kicks with ease.

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The Giants could be made to pay an even dearer price if they repeat those errors on Sunday at Optus Stadium against the Eagles’ marking machines Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass.

The duo combined for 17 marks – including six contested – in last week’s win over Hawthorn.

Brad Sheppard (eight marks) and Josh Rotham (six) also joined in on the fun.

Cameron said it’s imperative for his team to employ a smarter method when going forward.

“We’ve been getting the ball in there the last three weeks, but we don’t want to be bombing it back to the likes of McGovern and Barrass because they’ll hurt us,” he said.

“Our players are down a bit in confidence clearly because of the way we are moving the footy.

“What I am happy is we are getting in there, but we need a better system.

“That’s what we’ve worked on this week.”

Liam Ryan, Brendon Ah Chee and Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles contest for a mark.
Camera IconLiam Ryan, Brendon Ah Chee and Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles contest for a mark. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Another big headache for Cameron is how to quell the influence of star West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui.

“I was thinking about putting Shane Mumford on top of Sam Jacobs’ shoulders for about 100 minutes,” Cameron joked when asked how he would combat Naitanui.

“He’s a superstar. He’s in great form. He’s exciting to watch.

“But equally, we feel as though we can come up with some appropriate plans to make sure that combination of Naitanui and (Oscar) Allen doesn’t hurt us.

“We feel as though fully wound up we can put it back on the Eagles around those stoppage clearance opportunities.”

West Coast (8-3) are aiming for an eighth win in a row, while the Giants (6-5) are on thin ice as the battle for finals berths intensifies.

GWS are set to be boosted by the return of star forward Toby Greene from a hamstring injury.

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