Swans prepare for West Coast backlash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans prepare for West Coast backlash

By Tom Wald and Justin Chadwick 04/06/2008 04:03:07 PM Comments (0)

Sydney skipper Craig Bolton says the Swans are bracing themselves for a hostile reception in Saturday night's AFL clash against West Coast in Perth.

Sydney have developed a fierce rivalry with the Eagles, with Swans spearhead Barry Hall's king hit on Brent Staker in round four only escalating tensions between the clubs.

The fifth-placed Sydneysiders head into the Subiaco clash as raging hot favourites against the 13th-placed Eagles.

And Bolton said the Swans were looking forward to their latest battle with their 2005 and 2006 grand final combatants.

"Look it is one of the best places to play Subiaco, the crowd is right up against you and it is always a full house and it is a pretty hostile reception," he said before the team was due to fly to Perth on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it will be a tough game to get on top of.

"But you just have to go over there and create your own atmosphere and look after each other on the field."

The Swans and Eagles have been tough to split in recent seasons with a combined tally of just five points separating them over four matches in 2006 and 2007.

Even their head-to-head record is locked at 19-19.

However West Coast's 62-point loss at ANZ Stadium in round four and 2-8 start to the year has threatened to take some of the heat out of their rivalry.

Bolton thought otherwise.

"We are not going over there under any illusions that it is going to be an easy game," he said.

"West Coast, we have always had tough games against them and playing at Subiaco is a different prospect to playing them anywhere else, they want to bounce back.

"We know it is going to be a tough game. They still have some quality players."

The All-Australian backman played down talk of any on-field retribution from Eagles players this weekend with Hall serving the final match of his seven-game suspension for punching Staker.

"The ball is in their court but I would not have thought there will be anything too untoward," he said.

West Coast coach John Worsfold paid the Swans a compliment by saying he wanted the Eagles to be more like the Sydney club.

"Sydney have bounced back this year after a disappointing year last year," he said.

"We're certainly pretty keen to follow in Sydney's footsteps in that regard and build the side up so it can really bounce back, so it can be a strong, contending side next year."

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