Confident Swans set for AFL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Confident Swans set for AFL finals

By Adrian Warren and Rob Forsaith 05/09/2011 07:52:43 PM Comments (0)

Sydney midfielder Kieren Jack believes a fine finish to the regular AFL season means the Swans boast the self-belief that they can defeat any of the teams in the finals.

The general school of thought is that the bottom half of the top eight are usually there to make up the numbers in the finals but Jack doesn't believe it to be the case in 2011.

Jack says the last round proved it was an open race to the flag, and that his side - buoyed by wins over St Kilda, Geelong and Brisbane in their past three starts - are capable of beating any of the contenders.

"I think we've sort of proven ourselves that if we play the way we want to play, we can beat any team and it's a great confidence to have in the group," Jack said on Monday.

"You probably saw on the weekend, I certainly didn't expect Geelong to beat Collingwood by as much as they did.

"But any team, if they are on or if they are off, can beat anyone. It's a pretty even competition, I think."

The Swans will take on St Kilda in Saturday night's elimination final at Etihad Stadium.

Sydney resurrected their AFL season last month with a stoic 15-point win over the Saints at ANZ Stadium, and followed it with a shock victory over the Cats at Skilled Stadium.

"We've certainly got some confidence within our group that we can do well this week and create some damage," Jack said.

"We've certainly got confidence in this group that we can perform well.

"Winning form is good form. We've played some really good teams the last couple of weeks and done well."

The Swans missed out on hosting rights for this weekend, finishing 3.42 percentage points behind the Saints, but Jack said the trip to Melbourne held no fears for his side.

"A home final would have been nice, but it's not everything and we're happy to be in finals," he said.

"I think our form away from home this year overall hasn't been too bad and, certainly a couple of weeks ago, Geelong in Geelong is as tough as it gets and we took a heap of confidence away from that.

"It will be no different this week against St Kilda. We've played well at Etihad Stadium before and I expect we'll do the same thing again."

Sydney have won six of their 11 games on the road this season.

Nonetheless, Jack knows it will be a war of attrition against a side that played in two grand finals last year.

"We respect St Kilda immensely in the way they go about their footy, and really are a similar sort of side to us," he said.

"They rely on contested ball and really creating numbers around stoppages so I'm sure it will be a really physical encounter and it's one we're really looking forward to."

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