Gibbs ready to face Goodes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gibbs ready to face Goodes

By Sam Lienert 02/09/2010 04:58:01 PM Comments (0)

Carlton's Bryce Gibbs would relish the job of quelling Sydney star Adam Goodes, whose form he credits with driving the Swans' late-season resurgence.

Sunday's AFL elimination final at ANZ Stadium will be the last match in front of a home crowd for retiring Swans veteran Brett Kirk and coach Paul Roos.

Sydney enter the clash with six wins from their past eight games, a form surge that coincided with Goodes' move into the midfield.

Blues star youngster Gibbs has taken on the dual Brownlow Medallist several times and said he would be happy to resume the battle.

"If Ratts (coach Brett Ratten) seems to think that's the match-up that's going to best suit the team, no worries," Gibbs said.

"He's a champion and I think he plays his best footy in the midfield.

"And probably his form in the midfield over the past month has gotten them to where they are now, so he's very important."

Goodes dominated the two clubs' most recent meeting, a 39-point Swans win at Etihad Stadium in round 16, in which Sydney were 47 points clear by the long break.

On that occasion, Gibbs opposed him in the midfield and Paul Bower when he went forward.

But Gibbs has had success on Goodes in the past, most notably a 2008 meeting, when he kept the Swans star to seven touches, gathering 26 himself.

"It's a funny one, I'm not sure if he was injured or he had a bit of a niggle or something, because I've played on him since then and he's been a completely different player," he said.

"It was an okay game for me and maybe I might have got lucky on that day, but when he's up and going and he's firing, he's pretty hard to stop.

"If I get the job on him this week I'll just be looking forward to the challenge."

Gibbs said the Blues had learnt from last year's elimination final loss to Brisbane at the Gabba - the first final for him and most of his Carlton teammates.

On that occasion, they gave up a four-goal lead at the last change, which Gibbs put down to a combination of Carlton dropping their guard and the Lions' confidence surging in front of a home crowd.

While the Swans will have emotion on their side on Sunday, given Roos' and Kirk's impending exits, Gibbs said the Blues would be equally driven.

"They're going to have to face us young boys wanting to win their first final as well," he said.

"That's as big an incentive for us as anything."

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