Fatigue might be hurting Swans kicking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fatigue might be hurting Swans kicking

By Adrian Warren 22/08/2011 05:59:59 PM Comments (0)

Sydney stalwart Ryan O'Keefe believes fatigue generated by the increasing pace of the AFL could be a factor in his team's wayward kicking.

Sydney have kicked more goals than behinds in only six of their 20 games this year and are the only top-eight team to have logged more minor than major scores through the first 22 rounds.

Their version of the AFL yips manifested itself again in Sunday's 15-point win over St Kilda, when they kicked a miserable 10.23 and, at one stage in the second quarter, had logged a paltry 1.10.

A veteran of 12 seasons, previously reliable left-foot kicker O'Keefe has tallied an unflattering 13.19 for the current campaign.

He said with less interchanges this year, more players were logging longer minutes and the game was becoming faster and taking a greater physical toll.

"I've been a pretty bad offender, with the inaccuracy. I'm not sure what it is, whether the players are getting more tired," O'Keefe told reporters at a recovery session on Monday.

"I don't know if the accuracy across the league has dropped or not, I'm not sure. It's something to look at but players are tired when you are having a shot.

"The game does take a lot out of you now and maybe, when you are having a shot, you are just a little bit more fatigued."

Seventh-placed Sydney are one of just three clubs, along with Fremantle and Gold Coast, to have kicked more behinds than goals this year.

O'Keefe warned Sydney could not afford to be wasteful away to competition high flyers Geelong next Saturday.

"From their kick-outs, they are pretty dangerous as well, so if we give them 23 chances to move the ball down the other end, I'm sure they will kick 23 goals," O'Keefe said.

He was adamant Sydney's accuracy would improve and stressed they had created plenty of scoring opportunities against the Saints.

"I know it's been the story of our season, our inaccuracy. But at least we played the way we wanted to and our defensive side was really good, and we were able to have enough shots on goal and inside 50s," O'Keefe said.

Geelong have won their past nine matches against Sydney and their past seven at home to the Swans, who haven't won on the Cats turf since 1999.

Despite those grim stats and Geelong's imposing home winning streak, O'Keefe insisted Sydney believed they could win Saturday's showdown if they reproduced the intensity they showed against the Saints.

"Of course we do. We've always said if we could play the way we wanted to play, we can beat anyone," O'Keefe said.

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