Swans to avoid single-quarter meltdowns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans to avoid single-quarter meltdowns

By Adrian Warren 07/09/2008 03:11:38 PM Comments (0)

Rejuvenated Sydney is determined to avoid the single quarter meltdown they suffered in their two previous AFL tussles with the Western Bulldogs when the teams clash again in Friday's semi-final at the MCG.

The Swans on Saturday night ensured they would better their 2007 finish with a 35-point elimination final victory over North Melbourne at ANZ Stadium.

Sydney kicked 13 goals to five after the long break, with coach Paul Roos rating it probably the best half of football his team had played this year.

The Bulldogs won their two home-and-away games this year by 15 points in Sydney and 16 points in Canberra in remarkably similar circumstances.

The Swans kicked five goals to three in the first quarter of both contests, but the Bulldogs kicked seven goals to one in the second of the Sydney tussle and eight goals to one in the same period in Canberra, with the second halves of both matches fairly even.

"They have blown us away in the second quarter both times this year, we need to maintain that intensity and take it up to them," Swans' midfielder Jude Bolton said.

The highly-scrutinised veteran core of the Swans answered their critics with fullback Leo Barry, midfielder Brett Kirk and centre half-forward Barry Hall among the Swans best.

"A lot of our older senior guys really stood up last night and showed the way," Bolton said.

Roos said he had heard the "too old, too slow" line about his side from plenty of people and expected to hear it again if his side stumbled next week.

"They will probably take a few pot shots at us then, but we've won tonight," said Roos, who reported no injury issues arising out of the game.

"I'm confident in the group that they've still got a little bit left in them and they showed that."

While the Bulldogs have lost four of their last five games since beating Sydney at Manuka Oval, Roos and Bolton were still wary of a side that has had their number this season.

"They can bounce back, we were looking for the same thing against the Kangaroos because they had been beaten by Port Adelaide the week before, so we had to match that early," Bolton said.

The Swans appear to be hitting form at the right time with successive strong showings against Brisbane and the Kangaroos.

Roos said training had been a little more intense over the last couple of weeks and the club had benefited from stars Adam Goodes and Ryan O'Keefe being rested from the Brisbane match.

He also thought impressive youngsters Kieren Jack and Patrick Veszpremi had profited from going back to the reserves.

Midfielder Jack was an important contributor to Sydney's victory last night, kicking a career-best three goals.

While Jack has made his name as a tagger, Roos revealed he had challenged the youngster since his return to the senior side to win more of the ball.

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