Just over 20 minutes into the third quarter of Saturday's elimination final between the GIANTS and the Western Bulldogs, with the momentum of the game swinging back and forth, Jeremy Finlayson seized his moment.

The GIANTS had dominated most aspects of the contest but failed to put the Dogs away, and the visitors trailed by just 11 points.

Young Bulldog Patrick Lipinski had just missed a gettable shot to reduce the margin to single figures, and when the GIANTS transferred the footy to the opposite end of GIANTS Stadium, Finlayson took his chance.

With a crucial 50/50 ball to be won, the athletic forward kept his feet and gathered the footy, as Dogs defender Hayden Crozier went to ground.

Finlayson finished the play with a brilliant dribble goal off his preferred left foot in front of a block of Bulldogs fans.

He put one finger to his lips to silence the Doggies faithful, and another seven GIANTS goals in a row certainly helped his cause as the home side ended the contest.

"When I missed the shot earlier I copped a fair bit (from those Bulldogs fans), but I was lucky enough to kick one over there and just told them all about it," Finlayson said after the 58-point win.

"I actually had Daniel Lloyd screaming at me (for a handball) so I was lucky it went in, and it didn't wobble too well so I was a bit nervous.

"That's finals, anything can happen when you give it a shot.

"I don't really think of it (as a massive play in the game), I just take it moment by moment.

"Every contest that comes to you, you've just got to compete and I was lucky enough to get on the end of a few."

In the lead-up to his finals debut, Finlayson bravely opened up to AFL.com.au about his battles with his mental health in 2018, and self-doubts about his ability to make it at senior level.

He said his nerves threatened to get the better of him until he arrived at GIANTS Stadium on Saturday.

"When I got to the ground the boys were unreal to me, especially the boys who had already played in finals," he said.

"I think I was more excited to have the opportunity to play footy finals.

"You've dreamed of this as a kid and to finally get a run in it was a dream come true." 

Finlayson's 3.3 from 18 possessions showed he well and truly belongs at the highest level.

The GIANTS' performance was also a clear reminder of the quality football they can produce, even with co-captain Callan Ward, and one of his deputies Stephen Coniglio, missing through injury.

"I think we just needed to trust each other and we finally got all our players back, barring 'Cogs' and 'Wardy' of course," he said.

"It's just that belief that you've got to have in finals. Anything is possible.

"Everyone has doubted us, the whole media world doubted us.

"We've got to scrap and then we get our reward for our scrap. If we fight like that every game anything is possible in finals footy."