“When I first laid eyes on Briggsy he was running laps around Mike Kenny Oval and I thought ‘who is this lumbering Giant. He was a pup then but he is an absolute machine now’.
“He just became a big man for big moments.”
From a season that spawned a reel of highlights as ‘Penno’ climbed from the bottom half to finals contenders, one moment in the 2017 Grand Final stands out for Cousens.
“There were some monumental moments in that match against Sydney Uni where I was thinking ‘geez, this guy’s going to serve us well’,” he said.
Yard and Cousens both recall a game-changing speccy, in a momentum-shifting final-quarter moment that kept Sydney Uni at bay and allowing the Dees to level, before a Briggs clearance gave them the last shot of the game and a 66-60 win.
“He takes those big marks and even back then as an 18-year-old, there was a clutch moment in the last quarter, he took this big defensive mark in a pack with a game on the line and it really stands out for me,” Yard said.
“There were a lot of moments where he stood up like that.”
While Briggs still spends spare time back around Mike Kenny Oval, the GIANTS’ prelim berth has seen support from the Demons for their flag-winner hit an all-time high.
“Yardy called me this week I was thinking, ‘we’re in a prelim, he wants to relive some memories’,” Briggs said.
“I grew up around the club and from about 14, 15 I was always watching the prem boys play and was driving to play prems and eventually get a flag and those boys that I did it with are lifelong friends now.”
Bonds back then were formed by the siloed community of footy fans in northwest Sydney – a far cry from the community support that has swelled up around the GIANTS this September.