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Bock says Swans are a litmus test

04/03/2011 05:30:29 PM Comments (0)

Darren Cartwright

BRISBANE, March 4 AAP - Adelaide defector Nathan Bock said his first time in Gold Coast colours in a trial match against Sydney at Southport on Saturday will be the side's first genuine AFL litmus test.

Even though the Suns pipped Sydney in the first round of the NAB Cup and then lost to West Coast in the pre-season quarter final, Bock said both matches were compromised.

The Swans' clash was a 40-minute round-robin encounter, while the Suns had only three seasoned AFL players in the team that travelled to Perth.

Bock, who will captain the Suns in the absence of Gary Ablett, told AAP the return match against the Swans, under normal match rules, would be a truer guide to their pre-season form.

He said their win over Sydney only served to mask their lack of forward entries.

"This week we are going to have some different personnel, so in that sense we will have more of a younger, inexperienced team (than when we played Sydney)," Bock said.

"This is a full game compared to a half game and Sydney had the better of us in that first game in terms of forward entries.

"I think they went into their forward fifty 20 times to our 12 which is quite a big difference.

"We were quite efficient when we went forward and ended up having a win.

"If we can be reasonably competitive and around the mark that will give us a lot more confidence going into the season."

The Suns have added a few more senior players to their line-up following the addition of Bock, ruck/forward Josh Fraser and former Kangaroo midfielder Daniel Harris.

However, Ablett, utility Jared Brennan and back pocket Karmichael Hunt will all be missing.

Bock said he has seen enough on the training track and in the first two NAB Cup matches to have faith that the fledgling AFL side will be more than competitive in 2011.

"We'll be confident from going on the last couple of weeks," Bock said.

"Everyone would have been thinking how we were going to go, but judging by the last couple of weeks we're going to be reasonably competitive and we're still missing a few experienced personnel.

"Once we get our best team on the park we are going to be quite competitive.

"It's exciting times and definitely interesting."

Sydney's first-year coach John Longmire said ruckman Shane Mumford, defender Nick Smith and forward Jesse White would see action for the time this year against the Suns.

The Swans coach was philosophical about meeting the Gold Coast again, just a couple of weeks after their shock NAB Cup loss.

"At least we'll know a little more about the Gold Coast this time than what we did last time," Longmire said.

"They are a good team. They've shown against us obviously and again against West Coast over in Perth that they are very competitive and they've got some very good players and we are confident we'll get a really good hit-out against them."

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