Blues aim for another rare Swans win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blues aim for another rare Swans win

By Roger Vaughan 16/06/2011 03:02:56 PM Comments (0)

Carlton now know the reward as well as the great challenge that is coming from Sydney in Sunday's AFL match at Etihad Stadium.

The Blues have a terrible record against Sydney, including last year's heartbreaking elimination final loss.

But they have also now won two of their last four games against the Swans and most recently beat them by 16 points in round six at the SCG.

Coach Brett Ratten said that win has proved a pivotal moment in what is becoming a breakout year for the Blues.

They are third and a game clear of Sydney, making Sunday a vital clash for the two teams.

"They're one that when you come and play the Swans, you're in for a scrap fight," Ratten said.

"You name it, it will be on and that will be a really good challenge for us.

"It (round six) was one of the games in this season that has really kick started our group and helped create some belief.

"They didn't have (Heath) Grundy last time and this time they do, Grundy and (Nick) Malceski in, so that will be a little bit of a different task for us."

Ratten said there should be no reason for complacency among his players.

"Where they sit, they're a game behind us and breathing right down our necks," he said.

"Just where they sit on the ladder and the last five or six outings and the record they've had against us, I think our group know exactly what to expect."

Carlton have won only two of their last 16 games against Sydney.

But more importantly than breaking those bad streaks that have evolved over the last decade, Ratten is pleased with the way his team is playing.

He said tackling pressure and contested ball were becoming strong indicators for Carlton.

"The heat on the footy and the way we've applied ourselves have been first class," he said.

But Ratten does not want to hear about any suggestion that the old Blues swagger is returning.

He notes Carlton were 7-4 halfway through last season before they dropped away.

One big loss for them last year was ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, who has now returned from a knee reconstruction.

Known as "Tractor" for his persistence, Kreuzer has slotted into a forward line that also features Andrew Walker and Lachie Henderson.

Another forward now spending more time in the midfield is Mitch Robinson, whose manic attack on the ball has him sailing close to the wind with the match review panel.

Ratten loves Robinson's attitude, but admits he needs to work on technical aspects of his game.

"He's actually got two speeds - go 110 per cent or stop," Ratten said.

"So it's just trying to find the balance sometimes."

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