Stingy Swans ready for Carlton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stingy Swans ready for Carlton

Rob Forsaith 15/06/2011 05:52:12 PM Comments (0)

Sydney's Ted Richards and Heath Grundy are becoming one of the AFL's most effective defensive duos, but they face a unique challenge this weekend in Carlton's fleet-footed forwards.

Richards and Grundy are unpretentious and hard-working, traits which also underline the club they play for, but the pairing has made the Swans one of the most frugal teams in 2011.

Sydney have leaked 119 goals so far this season, a tally only bettered by Carlton (117), Geelong (112) and Collingwood (104).

Aside from Lance Franklin, who booted 6.6 in round nine, no other forward had managed to kick a bag against the Swans this season.

Richards was in a typically-unassuming mood on Wednesday, making special mention of first-year defender Alex Johnson's form when asked about his partnership with Grundy.

"We've been working with each other closely since about November last year. We've done a fair bit of work, so we've got a really good understanding," Richards said.

"Into that is Alex Johnson, who has started to take that third tall.

"We're working with him a lot. His development over the first half of the season, from a new draftee to how he's playing now, has been incredible.

"Heath and I are just loving the fact that he's been able to come in and do some big jobs.

"In his first year of football, it's been great. Players have been able to do it before in the past, but not many."

Sydney's 16-point loss to the Blues in round six was the only time the Richards-Grundy partnership had been broken in 2011.

Grundy was missing due to a virus, but it was a wet night at the SCG which didn't suit power forwards.

Instead, Eddie Betts ran amok and kicked four goals.

Betts was likely to be a key figure again on Sunday, but Richards dismissed the prospect of minding the pint-sized forward.

"It's a possibility but I think Nick Smith has played on Eddie Betts in the past, and I'll be preparing to play on one of the taller players," he said.

"That's in the coach's hands, but you never know. I might find (myself) on him at times.

"They've got quite a few different-sized forwards down there that can kick goals."

Richards was expecting to line up on Matthew Kreuzer, Lachie Henderson or Jarrad Waite, should he (Waite) return from a hamstring injury.

He said the addition of Kieren Jack, who injured his ankle in the loss to Carlton and only returned last weekend as Sydney's substitute, would help the Swans' chances of outdoing Carlton's more-fancied midfield.

"They've got a lot of speed through the midfield, so it's timely that Kieren Jack is getting back to full fitness, because we'll really need his midfield speed," Richards said.

Jack was keeping Chris Judd relatively quiet in round six before he damaged his ankle late in the first term.

The Carlton skipper then went on to play one of his best games and drag the Blues over the line in a stirring come-from-behind win.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news