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Opinion: Leon Deserves the Credit

GIANTS coach Leon Cameron made some masterful strategic moves according to's Adam Curley.

Phil Davis was enormous, Toby Greene played a starring role, and his midfield dominated the Swans at their own game, but GIANTS coach Leon Cameron deserves just as much credit for orchestrating last week's elimination final win at the SCG.

The GIANTS boss has been sometimes criticised for not getting enough September success from his talented list, despite the fact that they've made the past two preliminary finals with a host of big names injured.

However, Cameron made some significant moves against Swans that proved crucial to the result.

It started at the selection table when he recalled Greene, Brett Deledio and Matt de Boer, despite their lack of game time over the past month, and Zac Williams, who hadn't been seen at senior level all year.

Deledio looked a massive risk given his history with calf and Achilles issues, but the way he was used helped the veteran work his way into the contest.

Swans defender Aliir Aliir intercepted everything that came his way early in the match, so Deledio came off the bench to engage the athletic Swan.

The former Tiger's willingness to lead up at the footy made Aliir more accountable and took away his aerial ability, while the GIANTS reaped the benefits of Deledio's elite ball use when he gathered 16 of his 22 possessions either side of half-time when the game was won.

Aliir had 11 disposals and six marks in the first half but finished with just 15 and eight.

The GIANTS also rightly identified Jake Lloyd and Jarrad McVeigh as the Swans' two best weapons off half-back, and while most coaches this season have let the pair roam free, Matt de Boer was given the task of shadowing Lloyd from the first bounce.

Lloyd averaged 27.8 touches per game during the home-and-away season but had just 17 against the GIANTS and was clearly frustrated by the attention before de Boer went to McVeigh and did a similar job on the veteran.

Cameron also wasted no time in using the return of Williams in defence and moving Lachie Whitfield back to the wing, where he made his name early in his career.

The 2018 All Australian half-back was blanketed by George Hewett (round three) and Dan Robinson (round 22) during the season, but with no real tag and room to move, had 29 possessions while Williams provided the dash from the back half.

As the GIANTS' focus moves to Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday night, it will be interesting to see what tactics Cameron employs against the Pies.

He's rarely applied a full lockdown role in the midfield, but will Stephen Coniglio or Sam Reid be used to run with Scott Pendlebury and/or Steele Sidebottom?

Is Jeremy Howe's marking and rebound off half-back enough for de Boer to play as a defensive forward again?

Will Whitfield be unleashed to use his power running at the MCG or is he needed in the back half to counter the home side's outstanding group of medium-sized goalkickers?

The GIANTS and the Magpies are set for an entertaining clash and the tactical moves coming from the coaches' box of both Cameron and Nathan Buckley will be just as intriguing.