Crouch ready to get under Aker's skin - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crouch ready to get under Aker's skin

By Tom Wald 28/05/2009 06:20:56 PM Comments (0)

Jason Akermanis's great form has come at a price - it has set up an AFL date with old Sydney sparring partner Jared Crouch this Saturday.

Swans coach Paul Roos did not even try to deflect questions about whether his veteran tagger would line up on the flamboyant Western Bulldog at Canberra's Manuka Oval.

"Given his history he would definitely play on Aker," Roos said.

"Aker has played a bit midfield, a bit forward.

"Craig Bolton has played fullback at times, he could play on Aker.

"You would suspect that Crouchy would spend a fair bit of time on him depending on where he is."

Akermanis and Crouch have plenty of history, the 2001 Brownlow Medallist having labelled the pesky stopper a "hack", a "serial pest" and a "cheat" among other things.

That's mainly because Crouch has done such a good job over the years of blanketing the skilful Akermanis.

Akermanis once quipped his wife gave him more space on their honeymoon than Crouch did on the field.

Their most notorious showdown came in 2006 when Akermanis lost the plot at the Gabba playing for the Brisbane Lions, the triple premiership player petulantly slapping Crouch on the backside in one of the most bizarre acts of retribution witnessed on a sporting field.

Roos said Crouch's job on Power midfielder Peter Burgoyne in Sydney's trouncing of Port Adelaide at the SCG last Sunday was good preparation for taking on Akermanis.

"Aker is in really good form so it is a real big challenge to Crouchy but they have played on each other a lot and know each other's game really, really well," he said.

"So there won't be too many surprises between the two of them.

"Crouchy played really well against Burgoyne last week which was really, really good (preparation) because Aker is in good form."

The `Dogs bring a good recent record against Sydney into the contest, having rolled the Swans in all three showdowns they had last year, including a semi-final at the MCG.

Young Sydney midfielder Craig Bird, who suffered concussion in the win over Port Adelaide, has made way for the return of defender Lewis Roberts-Thomson from a hamstring strain.

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