Pies don't need long to warm up: Swan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pies don't need long to warm up: Swan

By Adam Cooper 06/04/2009 03:24:33 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood are hopeful their history of adjusting to quick turnarounds between games will hold them in good stead for Thursday night's AFL blockbuster against Geelong.

The Magpies and Cats have just four full days between games given they open the Easter round at the MCG after playing last Saturday.

The short recovery time is unlikely to faze Collingwood, who every year must carefully manage their recovery and player workload before and after their annual Anzac Day game against Essendon.

"Anzac Day can fall mid-week every now and then," midfielder Dane Swan said at Collingwood's beach recovery session on Monday.

"The fitness staff and (conditioning coach) David Buttifant are really good at preparing the guys for the game ... we'll have no worries going in on Thursday night."

The Magpies have almost a full playing list to pick from and were also granted the luxury of rotating players late in last Saturday's game, when they were in control of Melbourne at the MCG.

At the same time, Geelong spent the last quarter shaking off Richmond at Skilled Stadium.

"If they've had a hard game and a few boys were sore, well we might improve, we might be a little bit better," Swan said.

"We've all pulled up pretty well, so it just depends on Geelong."

Aside from Hawthorn's win in last year's grand final, Collingwood remain the last side to have beaten the Cats in a premiership game, when they produced one of the most remarkable performances of 2008 in thrashing Geelong by 86 points in round nine.

But Swan declared that result irrelevant given the Cats were languishing at the time and similarly dismissed the pre-season grand final between the sides three weeks ago - where Geelong walloped Collingwood - in terms of providing any motivation.

Of more relevance is Collingwood's edge in the ruck, where in-form Josh Fraser will get no better chance to exert his influence given the Cats will be without injured big man Brad Ottens (knee).

Ottens was the difference between the sides in the 2007 preliminary final, when Fraser was out injured, and the Magpies follower will be keen to follow up his best-afield display against the Demons.

"It's bad luck for Ottens, but hopefully that gives us an opportunity to try to take an advantage in the ruck and give our midfielders first use of the ball," Swan said.

"I'm sure Geelong have got a ruckman ready to go, but Josh did hit some good form and hopefully he can continue that this week."

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