Kirk inspires Swans yet again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kirk inspires Swans yet again

By Daniel Brettig 22/08/2010 01:38:20 PM Comments (0)

Brett Kirk has been many things to the Sydney Swans over the years - discard, trier, tagger, captain, guru.

On Saturday night, in a rousing adieu to the SCG, he was Ryan O'Keefe.

Cast as a defensive forward to clog the Western Bulldogs' run from half-back, Kirk played some of the best football of his final season, even kicking a pair of goals.

He and Trent Dennis-Lane (four goals), Paul Bevan (two) and Kieren Jack (two) made light of O'Keefe's late withdrawal due to groin soreness as the Swans belted the Dogs 17.12 (114) to 10.10 (70).

In doing so he also left the midfield stage free for the man who seems intent in succeeding him, Dan Hannebery, to blanket Daniel Cross and win plenty of hard ball in the middle.

"It was a different role and we had guys just being selfless and playing their roles," said Kirk.

"It wasn't about me kicking goals, it was about stopping their run from half-back, stopping (Robert) Murphy or (Lindsay) Gilbee, and we were able to quell that and give ourselves an opportunity."

By the end Kirk had thoroughly earned the adulation of a beaming Swans crowd, not only for his doughty career, but for a performance akin to that of a marathon runner spurred on by the roar of the Olympic stadium near the finish line.

"Once I'm out there nothing else matters, there was not at any point thinking I was going out to do anything special on that ground," he said.

"It was all about being committed to a plan and a purpose, being committed to that one purpose and that's what we had.

"It was never going to be about luck, it was about preparation, selfless acts, guys committed to the end, and we had that.

"Even when we were up in the end we still had guys diving in and flying the flag.

"To perform like that was special and I loved being a part of it."

Kirk and his coach Paul Roos can now sniff a home final at ANZ Stadium, finding their best form at a time when several other teams in the AFL top eight seem to be losing steam.

"I think it has been the fact that we've got so many more guys committed to playing their roles within the team and not worrying too much about ... how many kicks they get or whatever," said Roos.

"Over the course of the eight years Kirky and I have been involved together and with this team, that's always been the case.

"If we do get that, we can play really good football. If that drops off at all, then we struggle. At the moment, as we sit here now, were certainly in very good form."

Sydney's only major concern is a suspected knee strain for ruckman Shane Mumford, and Roos said he would most likely rest from the round 22 fixture against Brisbane at the Gabba.

"Those things sometimes players can play with," he said.

"But I think at this stage of the year with next week we'd be pretty conservative so I don't think he'll play next week."

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