Slim AFL finals hopes not on Giants' minds

Nick Haynes said Greater Western Sydney's focus before their final round game is only on St Kilda.
Nick Haynes said Greater Western Sydney's focus before their final round game is only on St Kilda.

Greater Western Sydney are focused on St Kilda, rather than sneaking into the AFL finals, as they seek to draw a line under a tough week.

The Giants' run of four consecutive finals series will end on Friday night unless they win at the Gabba.

The expansion club will then only stay in the top eight if Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs both lose in the final round, unless they record a particularly resounding victory over the Saints.

The fact that last year's grand finalists are in such a precarious position says plenty about their inconsistent campaign.

Intercept defender Nick Haynes, who has been one of the Giants' best throughout 2020 despite regularly finding himself under siege, suggested it was pointless stewing over their finals equation.

"You can't really think about it because once you do that then you're going away from your own game," Haynes said.

"We're worried about how we're going to play and how we're going to beat St Kilda.

"We've not been playing the footy we want to .... we know we're capable of much better.

"If this is our last game of the year then we want to finish on a high."

Coach Leon Cameron has come under intense scrutiny after axing Stephen Coniglio, making GWS the first club in 22 years to drop their captain.

Meanwhile, last year's Coleman medallist Jeremy Cameron and versatile speedster Zac Williams headline the Giants' out-of-contract stars yet to recommit.

Jeremy Finlayson re-signed on Wednesday, two days after restricted free agent Aidan Corr shocked teammates by confirming he will leave the club.

Haynes, who is likely to finish a one-club player after signing a five-year contract extension in 2019, dismissed the notion that a sputtering end to the season could influence the decisions made by Cameron, Williams and others.

"The people out of contract have all been here long enough to know what we stand for, what our club is built on," the foundation Giants player said.

"They will reflect on that while making a decision, not just this week.

"We've had some major re-signings over the last year or two.

"We're pretty confident that whoever is in our best 22, we'll be able to retain them."

Haynes also defended his coach, who has been a lightning rod for criticism during an underwhelming season.

"The playing group needs to take responsibility. We haven't gelled as a complete unit," he said.

Australian Associated Press