Saints braced for slog against Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints braced for slog against Swans

By Adrian Warren 31/07/2009 06:34:18 PM Comments (0)

Unbeaten AFL ladder leaders St Kilda are bracing for a typically torrid battle against a Sydney side determined to give the Saints a dose of their own hard medicine at the SCG on Saturday night.

St Kilda started their current 17-match winning streak back in round one against the Swans at Etihad Stadium, where they prevailed by 15 points despite having five goals to one kicked against them in the first quarter.

The now notorious Saints defence prevented Sydney from scoring a goal in the two middle quarters.

Recent matches between the Saints and the Swans have invariably been low-scoring affairs with the last seven matches between the two clubs only once producing a team score of over 100 points.

"You know what you're going to get with the Swans, they're a very professional club and every time we've played them it's been a real battle," St Kilda midfielder Lenny Hayes.

"I think the thing you know with the Sydney Swans is that whenever you play them you are in a hard contest.

"They are always in every game, they are a really professional outfit and we expect nothing less Saturday night."

Entering this weekend's round four points off eighth place, the Swans need to cause a boilover in order to maintain their finals hopes.

Sydney midfielder Jarrad McVeigh revealed the Swans had no intention of deviating from their usual style of contested football.

"I don't think it's mission impossible, I think we match up well with the Saints," McVeigh said on Friday.

"We had a good contest in round one. We started really well in that game and they got on top of us.

"We will stick to our game plan, what we normally do. We've got faith in it. It's very similar to St Kilda's, just hard accountable footy.

"We will probably shut down on a few of their players then look to work off them, as that will be where it's won, I think."

"We will be looking to close the game and have a lot of stoppages like we normally do."

Hayes insisted the Saints' incredible start to the season was not imposing extra pressure on them as their unbeaten streak lengthened.

"We haven't spoken about the streak or anything like that, it's not something that we really focus on within the club, it's probably more people on the outside."

McVeigh said if Sydney wanted to spring an upset, they needed to reproduce the pressure they put on the Saints in the opening quarter of their first round game.

He wasn't concerned the bookies had effectively written the Swans off.

"We've always been the underdogs I think, no-one has rated us for about six years," McVeigh said.

Saturday's game brings St Kilda coach Ross Lyon back to the SCG where he was an assistant to Sydney coach Paul Roos for several seasons.

"We really respect Ross and the way he goes about things. I did a lot of work with Rossy and he really helped me ... I can't speak highly enough of him," McVeigh said.

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