Dogs to meet Swans in clash of styles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs to meet Swans in clash of styles

By James Dampney 03/05/2008 04:27:19 PM Comments (0)

The irresistible force that is the Western Bulldogs meets the AFL's immovable object Sydney at the SCG on Sunday in the league's ultimate personality clash.

The unbeaten Dogs have produced some scintillating football in 2008, averaging 20 goals per game and kicking over 14 more majors than their next closest attacking force, Hawthorn, leading into round seven.

But they face a huge test replicating that sort of free-flowing form against the Swans, who once again have been handcuffing teams into submission this season.

Sydney - the league's best defensive unit - have conceded an average of 9.5 goals this year, including six against St Kilda in round one and just five against West Coast four weeks ago.

The most goals the Swans have conceded all season is 16 to premiers Geelong, who booted eight in a rampant final term.

Making matters worse for the Dogs, they haven't beaten Sydney since 2002, but coach Rodney Eade feels his unbeaten men are ready to turn the tide.

"The key is to be able to match (the Swans' lockdown style)," he said at the SCG.

"In the past we haven't been able to match that for a variety of reasons.

"They're one of the most disciplined sides in the competition, they certainly work hard for each other and work hard when they haven't got the footy.

"So we don't come here with delusions of grandeur that we're going to kick 18 to 20 goals as we have in the past six games.

"We're just hoping to kick one more goal than them."

The Swans are sitting fifth with three wins and a draw from the opening six rounds and would be happy with their position as they continue trying to find the best way to overcome the absence of spearhead Barry Hall.

Nick Davis has failed to capitalise on his chances and has made way for former Geelong forward Henry Playfair, who will make his Sydney debut.

Veteran ruckman Peter Everitt is also a welcome addition and will greatly help Sydney's structure.

Everitt and Darren Jolly will share the rucking duties, while Lewis Roberts-Thomson can again revert to his preferred role in defence.

At 198cm, Playfair has the height to trouble the Dogs' defensive line, although coach Paul Roos is prepared to be patient after the former Cat's long battle with a hamstring problem.

Everitt, a giant at 203cm, is also another option up forward and Eade is wary of his return.

"Peter's proved himself over the years at being a class ruckman," he said.

"He's able to maximise that and he's certainly one player we need to focus on."

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