GIANTS coach Leon Cameron's selection risks paid massive dividends in Saturday's win over Collingwood, but he wanted all the focus to be on his players post-match.
With co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward, deputies Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly, and the fifth member of the GIANTS' leadership group Matt de Boer all missing against the Pies, Cameron shifted some magnets around and it worked.
Running defender Zac Williams was electric in the midfield alongside stand-in skipper Toby Greene, while unheralded defenders Lachie Keeffe and Jake Stein were solid in a miserly backline.
Cameron's decision to go with Shane Mumford and Dawson Simpson couldn't reduce the influence of Magpies ruckman Brodie Grundy, but both had some important moments in the 47-point win.
The depleted GIANTS kicked 8.2 in the opening quarter, their equal third-best start ever, and withstood a couple of Collingwood fightbacks to arrest a three-match losing streak.
"It'll go down as one of the better home-and-away wins we've had for a while," Cameron said after the match.
"An eight goals to one first quarter, you don't set yourself up for that.
"You put players in positions but they're the ones who have to deliver."
The GIANTS' opening quarter assault set the tone for the win, but Cameron said he was more impressed by their efforts in the second term.
Stung by their horror start, Collingwood seized control of the contest after quarter-time and dominated all over the ground but couldn't repeat what the GIANTS did on the scoreboard.
Despite a big advantage in possessions and clearances, the Pies kicked just 2.1 from 19 inside 50s and went to half-time 36 points down.
"It's an exciting brand of footy that we play and I'm proud of that, but the most important quarter was the second," Cameron said.
"That’s the one I was pleased with the most, it was huge.
"You go in with a six-goal lead at half-time and its massive psychologically.
"We didn't have any scoreboard pressure over the past three weeks and when we arm-wrestled our way through that second term, we could dictate things from there.
"I'm really proud of the players."
Davis pulled up sore from Friday's light training session, but Cameron said he could be available to play Port Adelaide on the road next Saturday night.