Poor record has Swans in fighting mood - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Poor record has Swans in fighting mood

By Adrian Warren and Sam Lienert 25/06/2010 07:32:10 PM Comments (0)

The Sydney Swans have had a gutful of losing to Collingwood, with feisty midfielder Kieren Jack declaring any of his team-mates who aren't ready for a battle at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night should stay home.

Collingwood enter the game fourth, two spots and six points ahead of Sydney, who won their last two matches before their bye, but haven't beaten any of the current top eight.

The Swans have lost their last eight matches against Collingwood, four of those at the giant western Sydney stadium.

Their chances of ending that streak were weakened on Friday by the withdrawal of classy running defender Tadhg Kennelly with knee soreness, replaced by youngster Gary Rohan.

Saturday's match represents probably the final opportunity for Sydney coach Paul Roos, who will step down at the end of this year, to break his personal losing streak against Collingwood counterpart Mick Malthouse.

While Roos joked earlier in the week that Malthouse had agreed to let him have a long-overdue win, he has clearly been uttering more combative words to his team.

"If we want to play in finals and do well in finals we are going to have to beat these teams," Jack told reporters on Friday.

"Roosy has made no secret of that, it's going to be a tough game.

"You've got to win the footy and you've got to pressure the opposition. We went over some stats over the past few years that we've played them and we haven't been able to do that.

"Our tackle numbers have been really down and they've smashed us at that contested footy and they have been a real focus going into this week.

"The boys have said that we're sick of losing to Collingwood, we're sick of them coming up to our home ground and beating us, so we think it's about time we got one back on them."

Jack said ANZ Stadium on Saturday night would be no place for the faint-hearted.

"It's going to be a battle. Anyone who doesn't turn up for the battle shouldn't turn up," he said.

Potential wet weather will only increase the physical nature of the contest.

And while the Swans are renowned for enjoying the clinches, Magpies midfielder Dane Swan said Collingwood's prowess in those types of clashes should not be underestimated.

"We've got some good hard bodies around the footy," Swan said.

"Everyone says Sydney like to create second stoppages, well we think we're not bad at it as well.

"So hopefully it will be a hard game, it might not be very pretty to watch, but hopefully it's a nice tight, hard game."

Sydney welcomed back full forward and leading goalkicker Daniel Bradshaw and running defender Rhyce Shaw, whose inclusion will help offset Kennelly's absence.

The Magpies regained key players Alan Didak, Luke Ball and Ben Johnson, but lost skipper Nick Maxwell (calf) and dropped ruckman Josh Fraser and forward Paul Medhurst.

Jack, who hasn't played on a winning side against the Magpies in five attempts, hoped the new-look Swans midfield would provide the key to breaking that drought.

"Collingwood aren't used to us having half-forwards that can play through the midfield, so that might create a bit of a stir," Jack said.

"... I want to smack 'em, I want to get a win on the board."

But Swan said the Magpies' midfield inclusions were a big bonus and that Collingwood had also earmarked it as a "huge game", given they can widen the gap to their rivals outside the top four.

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