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Cripps backs 'gun' LeCras to shine against Giants

Justin Chadwick, AAP  September 13, 2017 10:30 AM

Jamie Cripps reckons Mark LeCras will bounce back with a bang against the Giants on Saturday

Jamie Cripps reckons Mark LeCras will bounce back with a bang against the Giants on Saturday

West Coast forward Jamie Cripps is confident fellow forward Mark LeCras will bounce back with a bang in Saturday night's semi-final clash with Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium.

LeCras went goalless from just nine disposals against Port Adelaide, but he was still a threatening presence throughout the game, amassing five contested possessions, three marks and four tackles at the Adelaide Oval.

West Coast is expected to stick with LeCras for Saturday's knockout clash, and Cripps is backing the 31-year-old to produce the goods against the Giants.

"He's a gun," Cripps said.

"He'd be one of our best forwards - one of the best players in our team.

"He's got a lot of experience, and he'll bounce back, and he'll probably be one of our best this weekend.

"He's massive for us. He's always helping me and Luke Partington out."

West Coast face a massive challenge to back up from last week's elimination final win.

Not only were they forced to play 10 minutes of extra time, but the Eagles will have to travel for a second-straight week.

Cripps is confident the players will be able to deal with the extra burden.

"The extra time at the end of the game was nothing. We're a fit group," Cripps said.

"That's what we do pre-season for.

"With the flights, that's just normal for us. We fly every second week."

Cripps has booted 26.18 this season in what has been a solid return.

However, it will be his pressure in the forward line that could prove more crucial than his goals when he lines up against the Giants' running backs.

GWS boast a host of speedy rebounding defenders, with the likes of Nathan Wilson and Heath Shaw looming as key figures.

Cripps said it was important to limit the Giants' defensive run.

GWS were dealt a double blow this week when star forward Jeremy Cameron (hamstring) and ruckman Shane Mumford (foot) were ruled out for the rest of the season.