• Sydney v Brisbane, Round 6 Preview

    AFL Round 6
    Saturday 1st May 2010
    7.10pm Sydney Cricket Ground
    Sydney Swans v Brisbane Lions

    Sydney Swans
    B: Rhyce Shaw, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Tadhg Kennelly
    HB: Martin Mattner, Heath Grundy, Nick Malceski
    C: Jarrad McVeigh, Brett Kirk, Lewis Jetta
    HF: Ryan O?Keefe, Adam Goodes, Josh Kennedy
    F: Mark Seaby, Daniel Bradshaw, Jarred Moore
    Foll: Shane Mumford, Jude Bolton, Kieren Jack
    I/C: Daniel Hannebery, Ted Richards, Nick Smith, Jesse White
    Emg: Ed Barlow, Gary Rohan, Pat Veszpremi

    In: Richards
    Out: Craig Bolton (achilles)

    Brisbane Lions
    B: Ashley McGrath, Matt Maguire, Josh Drummond
    HB: Travis Johnstone, Joel Patfull, Andrew Raines
    C: Daniel Rich, Simon Black, Justin Sherman
    HF: Luke Power, Jonathan Brown, James Polkinghorne
    F: Brent Staker, Brendan Fevola, Todd Banfield
    Foll: Mitchell Clark, Jared Brennan, Michael Rischitelli
    I/C: Jack Redden, Matthew Leuenberger, Matt Austin, Amon Buchanan
    Emg: Troy Selwood, James Hawksley, Tom Rockliff

    In: Buchanan, Sherman, Austin, Power
    Out: Daniel Merrett (hamstring), Albert Proud, James Hawksley, Tom Rockliff

    The Rivalry Round is one of the most keenly awaited rounds of the AFL Competition - but only if you're not a Lions or Swans fan. Croweaters salivate at delight in anticipation of the often brutal Showdowns, Western Australian fans reach fever pitch when their teams square off in the Western Derby, while for those in Victoria, nothing comes bigger than the clash of the Blues and the Pies in front of a packed MCG. But what to make of a so-called Sydney-Brisbane rivalry? What poor misguided fool managed to pair these teams off? Did one of the AFL head honchos had tune into a Rugby League State of Origin broadcast, pick up on the hostile vibe of that contest, and ah-hah!, thought it would translate well into AFL.

    In truth, our two clubs are much closer to being kindred spirits - relocated VFL clubs battling for support in a league-dominated market, and who have arguably been the 2 most successful clubs in the 'noughties' decade. In addition, it has been hard to generate a rivalry when the contests have been so one sided. Until last year's two Lions victories broke the spell, the Swans were unbeaten in 9 consecutive games against the Lions.

    However circumstances have changed this year, and this contest promises to have much more of a bite. Daniel Bradshaw's terse responses to questions about his former team and coach suggests that the Bradshaw and Voss families won't be planning any joint holidays any time soon. Voss's surprise recall of 2005 GF hero Amon Buchanan, who will be lacking match fitness after 4 weeks out with a thumb injury, suggests that Monty desperately wants to play in this game and has a point to prove. While his departure wasn't anywhere near as acrimonious as Bradshaw's, he clearly was on the outer for most of last year and will be very keen to prove Roos and his assistants wrong.

    Last week
    The Swans toyed with the awful Eagles outfit for most of the game, racking up a big posession differential but unable to translate that advantage to a big lead on the scoreboard. That is, until Kieren Jack's bone-rattling hit on Matthew Spangher, which proved to be the catalyst for the Swans to off the Eagles's challenge by finishing as 52 point victors.

    The Lions on the other hand, were caught unawares by a exuberant and exciting Demons outfit going down by 50 points at the MCG. Brisbane were unable to cope with Melbourne's excellent ball use and attacking intent. Captain Jon Brown carried an abdomen injury into the game and had little impact on the scoreboard, being held to just 1 goal.

    Key matchups
    Mattner v Sherman
    Sherman played the role of the pantomime villain in last year's Round 22 clash. In Leo's, Crouchy's and Micky's farewell game, he kicked the sealer (his 3rd) and proceeded to rile the crowd up by placing his finger to his lips in a shush-ing gesture. Sherman will play in the midfield with an attacking licence. He has a great eye for goal and was the 3rd leading Lions goalkicker last year, behind Brown and Bradshaw. Mattner has hardly been sighted in his customary position of defence this year. He has played as both a forward tag (on Gilbert/Goddard and McLeod) and as a midfield tag on dangerous goalkicking midfielders (on Wells, Cousins and Embley). Sherman would fit nicely in the latter category, and Mattner's ability to hurt the other way and kick goals (5 already this year) will keep Sherman on his toes.

    Bradshaw v Maguire
    While the RWO fraternity have been fretting about Craig Bolton's absence from this game, the Lions will also be stretched down back in the absence of their best defender. Daniel Merrett was the ideal matchup for Bradshaw, possessing the requisite strength to get into a wrestling match with his ex-teammate. Matt Maguire is the only other realistic alternative for the Lions and he is going to need help from his fellow defenders and midfielders as I think Bradshaw will be too good for him one-on-one. 14 goals in the past 3 rounds after a interrupted pre-season is a terrific return for a player playing with unfamiliar teammates.

    J.Bolton v Rischitelli
    Rischitelli is Brisbane's most improved player thus far. Released from the tagging midfield and defensive forward roles of 2009, 'Riska' is now averaging career highs in kicks, handballs, marks and goals playing as an inside midfielder. With Kirk likely to follow his Simon Black (again) and Jack to square off against Luke Power, it looks like a 'tough nut' battle will eventuate against Jude Bolton or Josh Kennedy. However if Rischitelli does start to get on top, I wouldn't be surprised if Nick Smith is called into action in a shut-down role.

    Swan in the Spotlight
    Heath Grundy
    Plenty of accolades have come Reggie's way this season - many pundits have pegged him as the competition's Most Improved Player and given a spot to him in their All-Australian team. His defensive work has been solid on the likes of Riewoldt (both Nick and Jack), Josh J. Kennedy and Taylor Walker. He is an excellent contested mark of the football, and often unsettles his opponent through subtle use of bodywork . Grundy's increased offensive output has also shot him into prominence - currently 2nd in the Swans for disposals (24.4) and disposal efficiency (85%), the Swans are channelling a lot of their attacks through him because of his excellent ball use. This makes him the ideal matchup for the beleaguered Jonathan Brown, whose injury concerns will limit him in following Reg up the ground.

    Lookout for this Lion
    Todd Banfield
    He's red, he's quick, he's exciting, he loves to tackle, and boy does he love a goal. Before you start reaching for the panic button, no, Gary Rohan hasn't decided to jump ship and head north. Rather, the Lions have unearthed their own version of the Ginger Ninja - with a brief to hassle and annoy the heck out of the opposition's defenders. He nicely complements the twin towers of Brown and Fev, with his tackling and chasing vital to the Lions forward setup . The Swans defenders may be in for a bit of a rude shock this week - the presence of Banfield and the pressure applied by him and his fellow small forwards Monty Buchanan and James Polkinghorne will be nothing like the limp effort applied by the Eagles last week.

    Both teams have lost their premier key defender, but it appears the Swans are better equipped to cope with their loss due to the form of LRT and Grundy. Sherman, Power and Buchanan are significant ins for the Lions, providing tough, experienced bodies for what always proves to be a bruising encounter when the Swans are involved. The midfield tussle will be incredibly exciting, with the experienced (Kirk/Bolton vs Black/Power/Johnstone) lining up along side some exciting youth (Jack/Hannebery/Jetta vs Rich/Rischitelli/Redden). Voss will emphasise to his forwards to chase-chase-chase in order to limit the potency of the Swans rebounding defenders.

    The Dees showed last week that quick and precise ball movement can be the key to unlocking the Lions defence, and the Swans have been amongst the top kicking sides in the early stages of this season. The question marks over Brown's full fitness means more pressure will fall on Fevola's shoulders, on a ground where he has traditionally struggled. Brisbane may struggle to kick a winning score, just as they did last week. Historically, the Swans have shown they play better when the good teams come to town, keen to knock these powerhouses off their perch. So it is heartening that to see we have polished off the lesser teams by big margins, an area for which we have come under some criticism in recent years. With confidence sky-high and one of the pre-season favourites in their sights, the home ground advantage should be the deciding factor in what is shaping up to be a cracker.

    Sydney by 13.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sydney v Brisbane, Round 6 Preview started by ugg View original post
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. liz's Avatar
      liz -
      Excellent preview. Thanks Uggy.
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Impressive roundup ugg, and a very informative read. I doubt any journo will improve on it.
    1. ScottH's Avatar
      ScottH -

      These have been great to read over the past month guys.

      Well done all.
    1. Triple B's Avatar
      Triple B -
      Good stuff Ugg
    1. ShockOfHair's Avatar
      ShockOfHair -
      I'd forgotten point about Buchy also being eager to prove himself.
      I saw his first trial game this year - he was BOG in the first half then I think got injured in the next game. Let's hope he's down on match fitness.

      Good preview. You've raised the bar Ugg.
    1. Lucky Knickers's Avatar
      Lucky Knickers -
      Nicely done Ugg.
    1. alison.z's Avatar
      alison.z -
      Awesome preview ... got me very excited for the game tomorrow!!!
    1. Xie Shan's Avatar
      Xie Shan -
      Great preview ugg!
    1. Matty10's Avatar
      Matty10 -
      Just read this - what an excellent summary - good work.
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