• Swans v Bulldogs Match Preview

    Match Preview: Sydney Swans v Western Bulldogs

    By Alison Zell

    Saturday July 23, 2.10pm, SCG



    B: Nicholas Smith, Heath Grundy, Martin Mattner
    HB: Tadhg Kennelly, Ted Richards, Alex Johnson
    C: Rhyce Shaw, Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh
    HF: Ryan O'Keefe, Sam Reid, Craig Bird
    F: Daniel Hannebery, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Josh P. Kennedy
    FOLL: Shane Mumford, Adam Goodes, Jude Bolton
    I/C: Nick Malceski, Ben McGlynn, Lewis Jetta, Luke Parker

    EMERGENCIES: Paul Bevan, Jesse White, Trent Dennis-Lane

    IN: Jude Bolton
    OUT: Jesse White


    B: Easton Wood, Tom L. Williams, Lukas Markovic
    HB: Jayden Schofield, Dale Morris, Shaun Higgins
    C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Liam Picken
    HF: Callan Ward, Liam Jones, Luke Dahlhaus
    F: Jarrad Grant, Barry Hall, Daniel Giansiracusa
    FOLL: Ben Hudson, Ryan Griffen, Adam Cooney
    I/C: Dylan Addison, Lindsay Gilbee, Andrew Hooper, Nathan Djerrkura

    EMERGENCIES: Brennan Stack, Sam Reid, Thomas Liberatore

    IN: Dylan Addison, Nathan Djerrkura, Jayden Schofield
    OUT: Robert Murphy (groin), Josh Hill, Sam Reid

    Last week:

    The Swans have lost several close games recently and despite the controversial circumstances of last week?s loss to Fremantle, it doesn?t detract form the fact that the Swans have now lost four of their last five. Granted, losses to Carlton and Collingwood weren?t unexpected but poor form contributed to the losses against Adelaide and Fremantle and the only win ? against 16th place Gold Coast ? was hardly inspiring.

    After a poor start to the year, the Bulldogs hit back with four straight, including a shock win over Carlton, before stumbling against North Melbourne last week, eventually going down by 31 points. They also lost Murphy in that game, with a groin injury forcing him out of this week?s clash.

    It is difficult to overstate the importance of this game. The Swans sit in eighth position on the ladder ? equal with Essendon on 34 points, and now half a game behind Fremantle. The Bulldogs are further back, in twelfth, and a game and a half out of the eight. Any hopes the Bulldogs have of making the finals hinges on winning this game and with a tough run coming up for the Swans, losing this game would put finals in serious doubt.

    Last time:

    Sydney Swans 10.13 (73) d Western Bulldogs 10.5 (65), Rnd 7, 2011, Manuka Oval

    The Swans have only won two of the past eight clashes between these two sides but both wins have come within the last three games (the loss coming in the 2010 semi final). A hard fought win in round seven came when the Swans were in much better form, but still plagued by inaccuracy but the Bulldogs had no Hall up forward. O?Keefe was a stand out on the day and the ruck combination of Pyke and Mumford proved dominant although much has changed for this week?s game.

    Who could forget the last time these two teams met at the SCG with the Swans sending Kirk and Roos out winners with a dominant display of attacking football that left the Bulldogs in their wake. This week is another farewell game but this time for the opposition as Hall bids farewell to Sydney, although it seems Hall doesn?t care much for us any more.

    Key match-ups:

    The Swans will be grateful to get Bolton back, especially in the forecast wet conditions that he so relishes. A poor performance from White last week means he goes out of the side that was fairly tall against Fremantle, with Bolton?s prot?g? ? Parker ? retained for the tough contest. The Bulldogs will welcome back Addison, Djerrkura and Schofield but the loss of Murphy will hurt the Dogs? half-back line with Reid and Hill the other two omissions.

    Hall?s timely announcement of his end-of-season retirement will give the Bulldogs plenty of drive, and Hall?s form cannot be underestimated ? he has kicked nine goals in his past two games. Expect Grundy to take Hall with Richards dropping back if Hall starts to get on top. Hall hasn?t been renowned for kicking a bag against his former team but he knows the SCG inside out and if the Bulldogs midfield can deliver cleanly to him, he is a force to be reckoned with.

    At the other end of the ground, our Sam Reid has had a quiet few weeks but in the wet, with a grab like his, this could be his time to shine. Youngsters Hannebery and Parker have stepped up at the stoppages for the Swans but Bolton?s return could mean Parker plays more across half-forward ? a role he has performed admirably with four goals in two games.

    Murphy?s absence is a big one for the Dogs but their midfield cannot be underestimated. Their younger players in Dahlhaus, Hooper and Markovic have settled into senior football and Cooney dominated the last time these two teams met.

    Where the game will be won:

    It?s arguable that the wet weather has contributed significantly to the many losses the Swans have produced at the usually-formidable SCG this year. This week looks to be no dryer with rain bucketing down all week and showers forecast for game day. The Swans players looked shattered after last week?s loss and placed the blame firmly with their own effort and discipline. The weather makes Bolton?s inclusion all the more important and if the Swans engine room of Bolton, Hannebery, Kennedy, McVeigh and Parker can commit themselves to what looks like being a stoppage slog, then they will be well on their way to a win.

    The Bulldogs will be keen to bounce back after their humiliation at the hands of North Melbourne and if the Swans don?t bring their game for four quarters, it will be ugly in the wet. It could become the battle of the old and the young with Hall at one end and Reid at the other but it will be the delivery to the forwards that will dictate the game. If the Swans can translate their effort from the fourth quarter last week in to this week?s game then they can push the Bulldogs but there will have to be a significant improvement on the last few weeks.


    After the disappointment of the last few weeks, if the Swans can?t get themselves up for this game then they shouldn?t be playing finals anyway. The last few weeks have shown glimpses of the potential this Swans team has but unless they can put it all together in one game, they?re not going to get far. The Bulldogs may have dropped significantly since last year but they still have quality players and can certainly do some damage on their day, as Carlton found out. Whichever team adapts to the expected wet weather conditions better, will probably end the day ? and possibly the season ? on top.

    Swans by 14.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -
      Nice write up Alison.

      Murphy is a huge loss for the Dogs. Even Luke Darcy tipped us this morning on the back of this out.

      Also On Parker. I wonder if they'll keep him on the ball and Put Jude in the forqrd line as they did earlier this year.
      It worked pretty well!!
      Unless the clearances go askew.

      Or even rotate Parker and Bolton thru the centre/f50??

      It is a MUST win game. Bigger than last week after losing that.
    1. Lucky Knickers's Avatar
      Lucky Knickers -
      Hey Alison - great preview as per usual.
      Nice idea Scotty re rotation - Jude is going to be our super weapon tomorrow. Huge game from JPK, Jude, Birdy and Parks on the cards.
      Wondering who Smooch will take.

      Dahlhaus must be making it impossible for Vesz to get in and I'm glad Ed is out as not sure I could stop myself from a Cheese call from the boundary.
    1. liz's Avatar
      liz -
      Excellent preview Alison.

      I would like to see each of Bolton, Kennedy and Parker rotated through the forward line at stages of the game.
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