The Giants brought an uncompromising physical approach to their 58-point crushing of the Bulldogs, but coach Leon Cameron said he did not instruct his charges to target Bontempelli.
It looked like a pre-determined plan to roughhouse the newly-crowned AFL Coaches Association player of the year, with many on social media questioning if the Giants were crossing the line at times. Cameron insisted it was not a manhunt but merely the product of a heated finals encounter.
The Bulldogs star was taken out of the game by Matt de Boer, who restricted him to just 13 possessions, while teammates including Shane Mumford backed up the GWS tagger by going hard at the Dogs superstar whenever possible.
“I think the physicality of the game just took it there,” Cameron told 3AW radio on Sunday. “Mumford played strong in the ruck, but Mumford’s played strong in the ruck for 12 years.
“Matthew de Boer’s played strong all year. He’s very aggressive at the man and the footy. It was just a final, we raised the stakes by five or 10 per cent.
“We all know that Bontempelli is one of the top two or three players in the competition. Matty walked away three weeks ago knowing that he got him, Bontempelli beat him in the first encounter. He was determined to try and make sure he could get back and square it up.”
Cameron said he was keen for his players to show the same intensity against the Lions next weekend.
“The challenge for us is to go two, three, four weeks in a row … that’s why you look back at  and say the Bulldogs for four weeks was just phenomenal, how they did it,” he said. “Playing with an enormous amount of intensity, that tackle pressure over and over again, is a challenge.”
Charges were also laid in the Brisbane-Richmond clash, with both Tiger Dylan Grimes and Lion Dayne Zorko fined $1000 for staging.
with Vince Rugari