Cats expect Swans to fight hard - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats expect Swans to fight hard

Greg Buckle 26/08/2011 01:32:11 PM Comments (0)

Geelong assistant coach Nigel Lappin expects Sydney's famous fighting spirit to go up a notch for Saturday's AFL clash at Skilled Stadium.

The Swans have been rocked by the death during the week of co-captain Jarrad McVeigh's four-week-old daughter, Luella.

"It's really sad. He's a terrific young man," Lappin said.

"All I can do is pass on my condolences. I loved playing against him," the former Brisbane Lions onballer added.

"He'd be really hurting at the moment and everyone feels for him.

"We all know about the spirit that's in the Sydney group. They'll be playing for him as well this week, there's no doubt about it.

"So there'll be extra motivation for them.

"We've just got to make sure that we can match their motivation and match their intensity early on in the game."

Sydney are seventh on the AFL ladder and haven't beaten Geelong in their past nine clashes.

The second-placed Cats have won their past 29 games at Skilled Stadium and have recalled Matthew Scarlett, Andrew Mackie, key forward Tom Hawkins and back-up ruckman Trent West for Cam Mooney (suspended), Nathan Vardy (hip), Joel Corey (groin) and Mitch Duncan.

Mooney's one-game suspension gives Hawkins another opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in the finals.

The 23-year-old powerhouse has kicked 18 goals in 13 games in 2011, including five goals in last month's 186-point win over Melbourne.

"It will be a really good test over the next two weeks for him," Lappin said.

"All `Hawk' really has to do for us is give a contest and do that well for him to hold his spot."

Lappin said forwards coach Brenton Sanderson and senior coach Chris Scott had been "putting a lot of time" into fast-tracking the development of 74-game veteran Hawkins.

"He's getting better and better each week with his contested marking and controlling space and his leading patterns," Lappin said.

"He doesn't demand the ball like `Podsy' (full-forward James Podsiadly).

"'Hawk' has got to get a little more of that in him.

"Over the last month we've seen that come out in his game against some of the lesser opposition. What we really need to see is against a good quality opposition that Hawk can do that."

The Swans have given McVeigh personal leave and dropped Lewis Jetta. Sydney's players will wear black armbands on Saturday.

"With their one-on-one style and being a team that likes stoppages and likes contested footy, it's always a really good lead-in to the finals when you play teams like (Sydney)," said Lappin.

"It's good to have another really hard contested game going into round 24 against Collingwood."

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