AFL: GWS have reaffirmed their top four credentials with a 25-point win over the Western Bulldogs. The Giants have won seven of their first nine games – but face three tough matches in the next three weeks.
GWS Giants forward Toby Greene has credited wily veteran Steve Johnson for helping spark him to the verge of his best-ever season goal tally.
Greene established himself as a high possession-winning midfielder in his early seasons at the AFL club.
He was pressed into service as a forward on occasions last year, but injuries to Devon Smith and Will Hoskin-Elliott early in 2016 have resulted in him spending the vast majority of the current campaign as a high half-forward.
After averaging well under a goal a game in his first four years of senior footy, Greene has kicked 13 in eight appearances this season, just two less than his previous season best of 15.
Before this year Greene’s best single-game goal haul was three, which he managed just once through his first 79 matches.
In his last four games he has kicked two bags of three and a personal best of four goals against St Kilda.
“When you get the opportunities to kick them, it’s your job, so I’ve definitely been doing a lot of work on my goalkicking recently,” Greene told AAP.
“I think having Stevie (Johnson) there as well has helped me, just little tips and knowing what to do in certain situations I reckon has really helped me. It’s been going alright as of late.”
He is still averaging 23 disposals a game, but developing another string to his bow has been important for Greene, with so many players pushing for on-ball spots.
“We’ve got a lot of really good midfielders so it’s hot competition for spots in there, so if you’re asked to do something else, you’ve just got to do it,” Greene said.
The Giants have won six in a row to surge into the top four and are in the midst of a potentially season-shaping block of four tough games.
After beating the Bulldogs last weekend, they face successive away games against Adelaide and Geelong and host Sydney in a mouth-watering Harbour City derby.