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A proud Mark McVeigh has praised the GWS Giants co-captains for leading the response to his stinging criticism last week and helping set up a rousing 27-point victory over Essendon at Giants Stadium.
Interim coach McVeigh last week questioned whether some players had already "checked out" after the Giants' insipid performance in the Sydney derby but received a resounding reply on Saturday as they proved too determined and too slick for the in-form Bombers.
The Giants (6-14) seemed intent on starting on the front foot as spot fires broke out before the opening bounce and they backed up that physicality with the first three goals of the match.
The Bombers stayed in the game from there and briefly claimed the lead after kicking the first two goals of the second-half, but the Giants then slammed on seven consecutive goals on their way to a 14.12 (96) to 10.9 (69) triumph.
"They've led the response right from last week, they took charge of the whole week," McVeigh said of co-captains Stephen Coniglio, Toby Greene and Josh Kelly.
"We wanted to really make sure we nailed this week, so I was really confident all week.
"Sometimes you've just got to back great character and we have, in my mind, great characters amongst our group, and some of those people that were challenged, I knew they would respond.
"It didn't guarantee a win but I thought the effort was clearly there and it was a really good reward for the players."
Coniglio (20 disposals, one goal) and Kelly (19, one) both led from the front particularly in the first half, while Greene (14, two) was typically dangerous near goal and Lachie Whitfield (30, one) was one of the best afield.
Jesse Hogan (four goals, 12 marks) was another to set the tone and the key forward collected three tackles inside 50 as the more-desperate Giants dominated that count 16-1.
Harry Perryman (23 touches) was one of few Giants lauded by their coach last week and backed it up with a crucial role keeping Zach Merrett in check.
The Bombers' star midfielder gathered 19 disposals but his influence on the contest and especially around the stoppages was down on his usual output.
Darcy Parish was straight back to his prolific ball-winning best for the Bombers after a month out with a calf injury, collecting 28 disposals and seven clearances and Sam Durham gathered 23 touches.
Bombers spearhead Peter Wright had an enthralling duel with the Giants gun defender Sam Taylor but made the most of his chances with two goals, while Matt Guelfi slotted four goals from just six kicks.
The Bombers (7-13) came into the match as one of the form teams of the competition with their only slip-up in the past five weeks being to Collingwood and a goal after the siren, but a meek performance showed there is still a big gap between their best and worst.
"It was really disappointing, a really poor outing from us," Bombers coach Ben Rutten said.
"It was not what we've seen over the last 10 weeks."