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Joanna Guelas

Giants warned of complacency ahead of Kangaroos clash

GWS have been warned ahead of hosting last season's joint-bottom 'Roos after beating the premiers. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)

Greater Western Sydney coach Adam Kingsley is urging his side to keep a lid on it ahead of their round-one clash with North Melbourne.

Riding high off a 32-point opening-round thrashing of defending premiers Collingwood, the Giants have set their sights on a drubbing when they welcome the Kangaroos to Engie Stadium on Saturday night.

At first glance, the challenge seems easy enough for Kingsley's men.

North haven't won more than four games in a season since 2019 and have failed to finish higher than 17th during that time, including being wooden spooners in 2021 and 2022.

But pre-season hit-outs suggest the embattled club are on the way up.

After giving the Magpies a 34-point touch-up in February, the Kangaroos proved their mettle against St Kilda before falling 19 points short of another pre-season victory.

Kingsley is well aware of the dangers of underestimating the opposition and won't be letting the 'orange tsunami' praise get into his players' heads.

GWS Giants fans.
Giants fans celebrate their impressive win over Collingwood in the AFL's opening round. (Steven Markham/AAP PHOTOS)

"We've spoken about the opportunity and making sure that we avoid any complacency," Kingsley said on Friday.

"We know North Melbourne are a different unit right now than what they were last time we played them so it will be a tough game.

"Their talent is enormous. They play with a lot of speed so if we're not on our game, then we will get picked apart pretty easily.

"They'll be playing their first game this season, they'll want to get off to a good start, just like our mindset was last week."

Kingsley's charges will be boosted by the return of tough utility Harry Perryman (hamstring) and rising star Finn Callaghan (shoulder) after the duo overcame pre-season injuries.

Callaghan's recovery was set back when he stepped on a nail at Sydney's Coogee Beach.

"It's not ideal. We've spoken about perhaps not walking around the beach in bare feet," Kingsley said.

"I'm really looking forward to (Callaghan's return) but bearing in mind, he hasn't played for a little while ... so he won't be at his best and that's fine."

North Melbourne will have five new faces against GWS, with Toby Pink to make his long-awaited debut alongside draftees Colby McKercher and Zane Duursma - seven years after he first joined an AFL list.

Explosive 'Roos forward Cam Zurhaar will play his 100th game after being stranded on 99 last season with an ankle injury.

Giants stalwart Josh Kelly also reaches the 200-game milestone, taking on the club his father played for and twice tried to poach him.

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