Outgoing coach Leon Cameron believes emotions got the better of Greater Western Sydney as Carlton made a fast start that the Giants were unable to overcome in his farewell match.
The Giants announced on Thursday that Cameron would leave the club after their clash with the Blues that ended with a disappointing 15.15 (105) to 11.9 (75) loss on Sunday.
While the Giants were widely expected to come out firing, it was the Blues that looked more inspired early as they kicked four goals in the opening 12 minutes to put the hosts on the back foot.
The Giants were able to fight back to level the scores at halftime and were still in the match at the last change until the Blues pulled away with five goals to one in the final quarter.
"We were always trying to make up ground and sometimes you just spend so many petrol tickets to try to make up ground," Cameron said in his final press conference as Giants coach.
"It was probably a shock to our players on Thursday, but as I said it was the right decision.
"Whether the emotion can sometimes go over the top and you make silly decisions, you're trying too hard, I think there was a bit of that today. That's not a true reflection of our group."
Cameron guided the Giants to the finals in five of the past six seasons, which included a grand final appearance in 2019 and two preliminary finals, as well as a thrilling one-point elimination final win over Sydney last year.
With Cameron in the final year of his contract, the coach and club had agreed to put talks for a new deal on hold until the end of the season, but he ultimately paid the price for a poor start to 2022.
"There's a disappointment because of the way we finished today. There's a disappointment because of where we sit on the ladder, and ultimately the responsibility of that sits with the senior coach," Cameron said.
"We're 2-7 and that's not us, we haven't been there for a long time."
Assistant coach Mark McVeigh will now take the reins as interim head coach for the rest of the season.
McVeigh joined the Giants' coaching staff for the 2015 season and worked with the backline and midfield groups until becoming senior assistant coach this year.
The former Essendon player will face West Coast at Giants Stadium on Sunday in his first match as interim coach.
"I'm really confident that under Mark's tutelage for the remainder of the year that there will be a number of opportunities for kids and players to stamp their authority as a Giants player," Cameron said.
"Looking from afar, that will be exciting."
Australian Associated Press
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