Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron won’t be asking Shane Mumford to tone down his aggressive style after the Giants got their mojo back in the run to the finals.
The Giants hammered the Melbourne Demons but Mumford could be rubbed out for next week’s showdown with the Western Bulldogs following two separate incidents.
Mumford faces an anxious wait for the match review panel’s call after he slung Corey Maynard to the turf and collected Max Gawn in the head with a shoulder.
It’s Cameron’s only headache after the Giants returned to form in emphatic fashion with a 14.13 (97) to 10.2 (62) win in front of another full house at Manuka Oval on Saturday afternoon.
But the Giants mentor won’t be asking his star ruckman to change the way he plays, saying Mumford’s aggression is pivotal in the club’s charge towards a maiden premiership.
“I probably get asked that every time Shane plays,” Cameron said.
“It was fantastic having him at his aggressive best. I thought those two players in Gawn and Mumford had an outstanding duel. Gawn kicked a goal early but it was great that Mummy’s inside work was terrific.
“We need him playing in that aggressive manner. I prefer him to play on edge like he did today and hopefully he should be fine.
“I thought he played in the right manner today Shane, and definitely helped our mids.”
Mumford had an epic ruck duel with Melbourne star Gawn and will be keen to replicate his dominance over the Bulldogs from earlier this season but the Giants have a readymade replacement if he cops a ban.
Dawson Simpson deputised in Mumford’s absence last week and Cameron believes his second choice ruckman will be able to shoulder the load if needed.
“Obviously that’s subjective in terms of Mumford’s availability, but Dawson was unlucky to come out of the side,” Cameron said.
“He played some really good footy, he’s got great spirit, great heart, which is exactly what we need. I hope I don’t have to make that decision but if it happens then Dawson Simpson is an absolutely perfect replacement because he has a crack.
“At 28 years old he’s actually defying a bit of logic in playing some great footy as a ruckman. He was unlucky to not to play today, but who knows, in the coming weeks he might get his spot.”
A second straight Canberra clean sweep pushes the Giants into second on the premiership table, a status that defies their horror injury toll.
It sends a huge message to the rest of the competition and leaves the Demons locked in a mad scramble with four other clubs to keep in touch with the top eight.
But now the challenge is to back it up against the reigning premiers who are fighting to stay in touch with the top eight.
“We know some of [the Giants players] have been up and down in and out of form so the confidence has probably taken a hit over the last month,” Cameron said.
“It’s a ruthless competition. We sit here and we’re happy because we got the four points and we played in a manner for three quarters better than we probably had for most of the year.
“It doesn’t get easier, we play the Dogs next Friday night and there’s a reason why they’re the premiers from last year. They’re playing some really good footy and if we don’t turn up and tackle really well next week, I’ll be in a press conference with a loss.”
AT A GLANCE
GWS GIANTS 8.6 10.7 13.12 14.13 (97)
MELBOURNE DEMONS 3.0 5.1 7.1 10.2 (62)
Goals: GWS: Delidio, Coniglio, Scully, Himmelberg, Kelly 3, Johnson 2, Shiel, Ward, Mumford, Smith 2. Melbourne: Gawn, Neal-Bullen 2, Tyson, McDonald, Pedersen, Watts, Melksham 2, Maynard
Josh Kelly 9
Stephen Coniglio 8
Shane Mumford 7
Callan Ward 7
Max Gawn 7