Swans confident of matching pacy 'Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans confident of matching pacy 'Dogs

By Greg Buckle 25/05/2009 03:32:08 PM Comments (0)

Sydney's Ryan O'Keefe says the Swans have got quicker and are confident they can out-run the fleet-footed Western Bulldogs and barge their way into the AFL's top four.

The Swans claimed consecutive victories for the first time this season by demolishing Port Adelaide by 55 points at the SCG on Sunday.

The victory left Sydney in fifth place with a 5-4 record, putting them in a confident mood heading into Saturday's meeting with the third-placed Bulldogs (5-4) at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

O'Keefe said the Swans had worked hard to boost their pace around the packs following their 37-point loss to the Bulldogs in their semi-final at the MCG last September.

"Especially in that final, they really targetted Spida (now-retired ruckman Peter Everitt) at the zone," the 2005 premiership half-forward said on Monday.

"We are a much quicker side this year than we were last year so it should be a good match-up.

"Top four? I suppose we are going to have to play well for the whole year to make the finals.

"Making the top four always gives you the best opportunity to have a real crack at it."

Swans coach Paul Roos recently suggested if Geelong (9-0) and Sydney played at their peak, the Cats would be too good, but the air of confidence inside the Swans' camp is growing.

"We know when we play our best, we can beat anyone," says O'Keefe, who won All-Australian selection in 2006.

"We've had that confidence and that's the way we've played our footy over the years, that inner belief.

"We mightn't have the most talented list but we've got the heart and desire. So as long as we can keep that up, we are always in with a shot.

"So you've got to make the most of your opportunities.

"We've been given a little opportunity to really try to string a few wins together to cement our spot in the top eight."

Swans forward Heath Grundy was walking tall after his spectacular mark over in-form Sydney ruckman Darren Jolly and Port's Troy Chaplin.

Roos described it as "one of the best marks I have seen in 15 years".

Grundy was relieved to have finally produced a big grab after years of cheek from Swans development coach Brett Allison, a former winner of the AFL's mark of the year.

"Brett Allison always reminds you about his grab," said Grundy, 22.

"Playing reserves, he (reserves coach Allison) always got into me that he had heard I could get off the ground.

"But I have never really been able to since I have been up here," the South Australian added.

"That's the first time I took a decent mark."

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