Swans need to lift for AFL finals: Mattner - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans need to lift for AFL finals: Mattner

Rob Forsaith 04/09/2011 05:26:37 PM Comments (0)

Sydney will enter the AFL finals as one of the league's most in-form teams but running defender Marty Mattner says his side needs to lift to overhaul St Kilda in Saturday night's elimination final.

The Swans are coming off three consecutive wins, with third-placed Hawthorn (eight wins) and fourth-placed West Coast (seven wins) the only finalists boasting a better streak - although the former almost found a way to lose against Gold Coast on Saturday.

Sydney disposed of Brisbane by 52 points in their last game of the regular season on Saturday, the win coming after a shock triumph over Geelong at Skilled Stadium and a 15-point win over the Saints at ANZ Stadium.

It's healthy form to have at the start of September but Mattner, a veteran of four finals series, knows all too well how much it counts for now.

"The last three weeks have been good for us. We've just gone back to basics and played how we wanted to play, it's worked really well but finals is another thing," Mattner told AAP.

"You've got to lift again. You just don't know, because every team that gets to finals can do whatever they want.

"We've just got to play how we've played the last three weeks and we're a good chance.

"...If we play how we want to play and get our trademark (style of football) right, we'll win."

Coach John Longmire suggested the side had been focusing on their "trademark of being hard and contested" after the surprise loss to Richmond in round 21.

"After the Richmond game we tried to fix a few things in our football ... effective tackles and just basic parts of the game," Longmire said.

"If you get the foundations of your game right, the other things tend to follow."

Longmire is on the mark. His team, who for much of the season had been fielding questions about their often impotent forward line, now boast a newfound ability to tally big scores.

Sydney booted 18 goals against the hapless Lions on Saturday, coming within two points of their highest score for the season - 18.13 (121) in the round 8 demolition of Port Adelaide.

Their average score over the past three weeks (100.3) ranks them behind only the Eagles and Cats in the same period, and is a significant improvement on the season's average (86.22).

Mattner praised the team's effort across the field against Brisbane, but noted: "Our forwards have been really good and we can kick a lot of goals."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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