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Tiger test perfect timing for Giants: Coniglio

Stephen Coniglio is looking forward to the Tiger challenge

LAST WEEK’S disappointing loss to West Coast saw Greater Western Sydney plunge four places on the ladder and outside the top eight, but Stephen Coniglio believes a visit from reigning premiers Richmond on Saturday night is perfect timing.

The Giants’ fourth-straight win over Hawthorn the week before had propelled them into sixth, but the midfielders that helped turn their season around were beaten badly in Perth.

Even though the GWS onballers racked up some solid numbers, the Eagles got silver service from ruckman Nic Naitanui and dominated stoppages around the ground.

Coniglio told AFL.com.au that taking on the Tigers will sharpen the focus of the home side and get them back on track.

MATCH PREVIEW: Giants v Tigers

Brownlow medallists Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin will bring the star power to Sydney, but Coniglio believes the likes of Kane Lambert, Shaun Grigg, Shane Edwards and Brandon Ellis add important elements that makes the ladder leaders’ midfield so formidable.

“I think they complement each other really well, they’re such a well-balanced unit,” Coniglio said.

“One of their real strengths is the different looks they can get in there, whether it’s ‘Dusty’ going forward or their half forwards coming up, or Grigg playing in the ruck.

“They’ve got a lot of weapons in there that they can turn too, but in the end, it comes down to the mentality of our players.

“We beat them here last year and they went on the win the premiership.

“We still have confidence amongst our group and we’ve beaten a lot of teams at home, so we just have to make sure the mentality of playing good, hard footy is at the forefront of our minds. “

The Giants’ finals chances will hinge on every result – of their own and around the League – for the rest of their season, and while it will add some pressure, Coniglio sees it as an exciting challenge.

“The bottom line is it doesn’t matter who we play this week, or the week after, I want to play finals and go deep into September and win the whole thing,” he said.

“The big picture is we need to start winning again.

“The carrot is dangling for a lot of teams that are in that sixth to 10th (spot on the ladder) bracket.

“It’s so tight at the moment but there’s plenty to look forward too and a lot of motivating factors to get us through the next few weeks.”

GWS could be reinvigorated by the return of star forward Toby Greene (foot) and veteran Brett Deledio (calf) this week, but both players would be coming in off a long layoff.

Deledio has missed the past nine matches, while Greene (10) hasn’t played since round five, and with Jeremy Cameron (suspended) and Jon Patton (knee) out, Greene’s brilliance inside 50 especially would be an instant boost for the Giants.

“Toby has been telling me for the last six weeks that he’s a week away,” Coniglio said with a laugh.

“But whenever he’s ready he’ll come back in and we’ll have arms open ready to welcome back such a quality player.

“He’s our best player so it’ll be great to have him and ‘Lids’ in the team at some stage, and hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.”

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS