Toughest test awaits high-flying Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Toughest test awaits high-flying Swans

By James Dampney 02/05/2010 04:53:09 PM Comments (0)

Sydney comfortably passed a stern test on Saturday night with their hard-fought win over Brisbane, but the most daunting challenge in the AFL awaits - an away trip to Geelong.

The Swans' 16.11 (107) to 13.9 (87) victory against the Lions carried them to 5-1 for the season and back atop the ladder, with Paul Roos' men knocking off a fellow top-four hope and continuing to surprise the critics.

But the truest test of their standing in the league will be determined next Sunday, when Sydney face the Cats at Skilled Stadium.

Premiers in two of the past three seasons, Geelong have shown some chinks in their armour in 2010, but are still a formidable outfit and are unbeaten at home since round 21, 2007.

It is the sort of challenge Roos is relishing and he admits he is surprised by how well his re-tooled side is performing.

"The win-loss is more important than actually being on top. Being on top doesn't make any difference in round five or six," he said.

"But certainly we're really pleased with the way we're playing. It's been a really positive start to the season.

"We've had a couple of injuries the last couple of weeks, but we've got some players in really good form.

"Some of the new guys have got lots of attention, and rightly so, but some of the older guys are really standing up too.

"The combination at the moment is really important and we've got a good balance to the way we're playing our footy."

The impressive new breed of Swans includes Daniel Bradshaw, who kicked six goals against the Lions to take his tally to 23 for the season, Shane Mumford, Lewis Jetta and Ben McGlynn are playing great football.

Experienced campaigners Adam Goodes, Ryan O'Keefe, Brett Kirk and Jude Bolton are also in terrific form.

Key defender Craig Bolton (Achilles tendon) will be sidelined for at least another four weeks, while starting ruckman Mark Seaby is also likely to be missing for some time, after picking up an ankle injury early against Brisbane.

But Ted Richards slotted in effortlessly to the side on Saturday night, McGlynn has recovered from a quad strain and the likes of Paul Bevan, Ed Barlow and highly-rated draft pick Gary Rohan are ready for a call-up.

Lions' coach Michael Voss was impressed by what he saw.

"We got away to a really good start, but then they kicked a heap of goals in a row and that put enormous pressure on us and we lost our heads for a little while," he said.

"They were able to score pretty easily ... and they finished off the game as they can do.

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