Lachie Keeffe impressed in his return to the Giants side last weekend, but now faces an anxious wait to see if he plays the grand final.
Lachie Keeffe impressed in his return to the Giants side last weekend, but now faces an anxious wait to see if he plays the grand final.

Lached and Loaded: Keeffe preparing for finale

Versatile Giants tall Lachie Keeffe will spend this week preparing for the biggest game of his life.

A late call-up for the preliminary final against his old side, the 29-year-old may, however, be back to emergency duties come Thursday night when the team for the grand final against Richmond is announced.

Star forward-midfielder Toby Greene (suspension) and dashing half-back Lachie Whitfield (appendicitis) will be definite inclusions, meaning at least two players from the team that held on for a four-point win over the Magpies will be heartbreakingly omitted.

"You can only control what you can control," said Keeffe.

"If I don't get picked, that wouldn't be ideal but I understand how footy works, only 22 run out there. You can't fit them all in. I just want us to put the best team out there, and for us to win.

"I'll go out there this week and go through the process of getting ready and preparing as if I'm going to play and if I play, I want to play well."

Overlooked for the two previous finals wins over the Bulldogs and Brisbane, the Gympie product was outstanding for the Giants in defence, helping keep Magpies pair Ben Reid and Brody Mihocek to six disposals and one goal between them.

It was his 10th game this year and 18th in two seasons at GWS after 40 in the black and white.

"I was happy to just be a part of the squad and then to get the call-up was great," Keeffe said.

"I had all intentions of playing forward and do a bit of ruck stuff and then Phil (Davis) hurt himself, so had to go back.

"It's not foreign territory for me. It was nice to be able to play my role."

 

AFL. First Preliminary Final. 21/09/2019. Collingwood v GWS Giants at the MCG.   Collingwood's Josh Thomas  celebrates a goal in the 4th qtr as Lachlan Keeffe of the Giants claims he touched it   . Pic: Michael Klein.
AFL. First Preliminary Final. 21/09/2019. Collingwood v GWS Giants at the MCG. Collingwood's Josh Thomas celebrates a goal in the 4th qtr as Lachlan Keeffe of the Giants claims he touched it . Pic: Michael Klein. Michael Klein

 

Keeffe should also have been credited with preventing a goal in the last quarter when the Magpies were surging.

Sparking a backlash against the AFL's new goal review system, a snap from his good mate and fellow Queenslander Josh Thomas had clearly been touched by Keeffe, but was allowed to stand. The AFL, on Sunday, admitted to the fault.

"Obviously it was Joshy who kicked the goal. He asked me on the ground. I knew I touched it. It was such a clear touch," Keeffe said.

"(But) I wasn't too sure if it would show up in the footage, whether they'd get the right camera angle and that sort of stuff, so I was none the wiser.

"There's probably multiple times that happens in a game. It wasn't until post game that I learned what it actually looked like."

Keeffe, who played 40 games in nine seasons with the Magpies, was wished all the best by his ex-teammates.

"It's funny. When you're out there they're an opponent but then moments after the game, there's obviously jubilation for us, but a bit f heartbreak for them, so there's a little bit of mixed emotions."

The Giants' focus now turns to flag favourite Richmond and a return trip the MCG to contest their first grand final.

"I'm rapt for our group. These guys have been through a lot of heartache during the early days," Keeffe said.

"There's obviously a bit more hype than usual, but the boys are really quite focused on getting the job done. As exciting as it is ... we want to go all the way ...we need to realign our focus to this week's opponent. It's going to be a great challenge."

News Corp Australia

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