Eagles are our big rivals, say Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles are our big rivals, say Swans

By Greg Buckle 07/04/2008 05:14:07 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's Rivalry Round was last week when Sydney beat the Lions in Brisbane, but Swans coach Paul Roos says his club's great modern-day rivalry is with West Coast.

Saturday night's clash at ANZ Stadium promises to be another great battle, Roos said on Monday.

And who could argue after the 2005 and 2006 grand finals were both decided by less than a goal.

Pressure is mounting on the Eagles after their 1-2 start to 2008, while the new-look Swans (2-1) have glided quietly into fourth spot.

In a series of epic struggle since the start of 2003, Sydney have beaten West Coast five times and the Eagles have triumphed on seven occasions, with an average winning margin of 14 points in the 12 matches.

Sydney beat West Coast by four points in the 2005 grand final and the Eagles got up in the following year's decider by a point against the Swans, in one of three consecutive meetings between the two clubs decided by a point.

"I think the rivalries always seem to be built by great games and they are the team we've had the biggest and best games against over the last five years," Roos said.

"Two grand finals, other finals games, really close games in home-and-away matches. So there's no question that Sydney versus West Coast have produced the best games of football that I've been involved in as coach.

"So it's always exciting to play against them.

"We always have great games against the Eagles and this should be no different.

"Without Chris Judd (Carlton) and Ben Cousins, they have some good young players coming through their midfield so it's going to be another good contest."

Roos said dumped forward Nick Davis was under consideration for a recall after kicking five goals in the reserves.

"Certainly Davo is very much in the mix but it is hard to make a change when you've had two really good wins," Roos said.

Roos said the Swans seemed "fresher" following the injection of youngsters Kieren Jack, Jarred Moore, Ed Barlow, Craig Bird, Heath Grundy and Adelaide recruit Martin Mattner.

"Probably the biggest challenge for young guys is to do it consistently week in, week out," Roos said.

"Will they hit the wall at some point? Maybe, maybe not.

"At this stage there seems to be a fair bit of energy and consistency across the team as well.

"Significantly as well, Tadgh Kennelly and Barry Hall with the operations they've had have been reasonably successful so they're pretty important as well.

"The guys seem a lot more refreshed an upbeat from last year (when the Swans finished seventh)."

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