History against us, says Swans coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

History against us, says Swans coach

By Roger Vaughan and Greg Buckle 05/09/2010 08:24:30 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos has dismissed any talk of favouritism for next Saturday's AFL semi-final after his side pulled off an outstanding win against Carlton.

The Swans rallied in the last term of Sunday's pulsating elimination final at ANZ Stadium to win by five points, 14.15 (99) to 13.16 (94).

They will now take a five-game winning streak into Saturday's semi-final against the struggling Western Bulldogs, who have lost three of their last four matches and will be without key players Adam Cooney and Dale Morris for the rest of the season.

But Roos was quick to play down the Bulldogs' late-season woes, which were compounded by Saturday night's 62-point qualifying final disaster against minor premiers Collingwood.

"History will tell you ... everyone tends to pick the teams who win in the first week of the finals against the teams that lose in the first week of the finals and it never works out that way," Roos said.

"We're not as good as the Bulldogs over 22 rounds, that's clearly the reason why you have a ladder.

"You'd have to think the Bulldogs will go in favourites.

"We have to lift again next week to play against them."

Roos noted the Swans also have a long injury list, although they could regain key forward Daniel Bradshaw (knee) and midfielder Ben McGlynn (cheek) for the Bulldogs clash.

Bradshaw has not played since round nine, but has managed two games for the Swans reserves.

McGlynn will also come under serious consideration for a recall after missing three games.

One big cross against Sydney is their poor record at the MCG - they had three close losses there this season and Melbourne also humiliated them there in round 17.

This is Roos' last season as coach and midfielder Brett Kirk will also retire once their season ends.

Kirk limped off late in the last quarter, but Roos said he would be fit for the Bulldogs.

"He can't run fast enough to do a hamstring," Roos joked.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade has declared struggling skipper Brad Johnson is a certain starter for Saturday night's clash.

Another potential concern for Eade is fiery forward Barry Hall.

Hall, who was booked for abusive language towards an umpire, will also face scrutiny from the match review panel over an incident in the second quarter where he threw a left jab at Collingwood's Harry O'Brien.

Meanwhile Collingwood say they have no concerns about the prospect of taking on Geelong in a preliminary final for the third time in four seasons.

The Cats denied the Magpies grand finals appearance in 2007 and 2009, with Geelong claiming the flag on both occasions.

Geelong are favoured to beat Fremantle in Friday night's semi-final at the MCG and set up another clash with the Magpies, who belted the Bulldogs 17.22 (124) to 8.14 (62).

"This year we've played a lot better and it's a different team, different year, so we're not too worried," Collingwood defender Alan Toovey said on Sunday.

Scans have cleared Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands of any serious damage to his knee, freeing him for Friday night.

Sandilands was clearly hampered in Saturday's 30-point elimination final win over Hawthorn, 14.10 (94) to 8.16 (64).

Geelong's James Podsiadly returns from suspension, with either Tom Hawkins or ruckman Mark Blake tipped to make way following their 12.11 (83) to 11.13 (79) qualifying final loss to St Kilda on Friday night.

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