• Swans vs. Bulldogs Match Preview

    ROUND 7 ? WESTERN BULLDOGS VS. SYDNEY SWANS

    Saturday May 7, Manuka Oval, 1.10pm (local time)

    Teams

    Sydney Swans

    B: Martin Mattner, Ted Richards, Andrejs Everitt
    HB: Tadhg Kennelly, Heath Grundy, Nicholas Smith
    C: Craig Bird, Josh P. Kennedy, Nathan Gordon
    HF: Ben McGlynn, Sam Reid, Daniel Hannebery
    F: Rhyce Shaw, Adam Goodes, Ryan O'Keefe
    Foll: Shane Mumford, Jude Bolton, Jarrad McVeigh
    I/C: Jarred Moore, Mike Pyke, Lewis Jetta, Alex Johnson
    Emg: Brett Meredith, Lewis Johnston, Luke Parker

    In: Heath Grundy, Nathan Gordon, Alex Johnson
    Out: Paul Bevan, Kieren Jack (Ankle), Jesse White
    New: Nathan Gordon (East Coast Eagles)

    Western Bulldogs

    B: Liam Picken, Lukas Markovic, Dale Morris
    HB: Lindsay Gilbee, Tom L. Williams, Robert Murphy
    C: Daniel Cross, Matthew Boyd, Justin Sherman
    HF: Callan Ward, Liam Jones, Josh Hill
    F: Jarrad Grant, William Minson, Daniel Giansiracusa
    Foll: Ben Hudson, Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen
    I/C: Brennan Stack, Brodie Moles, Mitchell Wallis, Zephaniah Skinner
    Emg: Dylan Addison, Nathan Djerrkura, Jayden Schofield

    In: Daniel Giansiracusa, Brennan Stack, Ben Hudson, Zephaniah Skinner
    Out: Dylan Addison, Brian Lake, Jordan Roughead, Thomas Liberatore (Soreness)
    New: Zephaniah Skinner (Northern Territory)

    2011 Form

    Sydney Swans: DWWLL
    Western Bulldogs LWWLL

    2011 Ladder Position

    Sydney Swans: 9th
    Western Bulldogs: 11th

    Head-to-Head

    Played: 148
    Sydney Swans: 70 wins
    Western Bulldogs: 77 wins
    Draw: 1

    Last Time

    Semi Final, 2010: Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77) def Sydney Swans 10.12 (72), MCG

    We all remember (or try not to) how agonisingly close the Swans were to a Preliminary Final last year after surrendering a 30 point lead to the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs went on to win by five points but lost to St Kilda the following week by 24. It?s arguable that anything could have happened should the Swans have held on in this game but it?s hard to see either team beating the St Kilda side that should have claimed the first Grand Final.

    Last Week

    Last week the Swans were disappointing, going down to Carlton by 16 points. Carlton played the Swans? game but played it better and losing Kieren Jack to an ankle injury was a big blow for the Swans, with Chris Judd dominating. Bevan and White were casualties from the loss, being sent back to reserves to find some much needed form. The Swans need to lift their tackling and clearance work from last week and stop wasting opportunities to put teams away.

    The Bulldogs went down by 48 to the reigning premiers after drawing level with them in the final term. Although many say it was an admirable effort to be so close in the fourth quarter, it has to be disappointing that the Bulldogs fell so completely apart when the Pies kicked into gear. The Bulldogs showed glimpses of good play but overall have been fairly inconsistent this year.

    The Changes

    Both teams have made some significant changes and both introduce some new faces.

    The Swans have brought back tall defenders Grundy and Johnson to bolster the defence. Grundy was always going to be an immediate inclusion after missing last week?s game with illness but it is encouraging that Johnson earns his spot straight back after being out for two weeks with a hamstring strain. He?s been solid and the inclusion of the two talls sends Reid back to the forward line as our main target with White out.

    Pyke gets another game as second ruck but it will be interesting to see who they go with as the sub ? The Bulldogs aren?t particularly tall and with Mumford/Grundy/Johnson/Pyke/Reid we?ve got quite a bit of height. It?s fair to say Everitt didn?t have quite the impact you would hope with a sub so it will be interesting to see if they go with a tall or an impact player like Jetta.

    Jack?s injury sees the debut of former Swans Scholarship holder Nathan Gordon. His improved disposal and consistency this year has been rewarded with the elite runner?s inclusion although it?s unlikely he?ll play the same inside role Jack does. It will be exciting to see what he can do at senior level at a ground he is very familiar with.

    The Bulldogs have also made some significant changes, most notably dropping key defender Lake to their reserves after some insipid form so far this year. Roughead and Addison join him in the reserves and young Liberatore is out with soreness. They gain some experience with Hudson, Giansiracusa and Stack back while many fans will delight in the inclusion of Skinner.

    Skinner impressed in the pre season with some excellent goal kicking and a high flying leap. He has only played three VFL games this year but is a tall, exciting talent that will need to be kept quiet. Could be a job for fellow-youngster Johnson.

    Home Ground Advantage?

    Although the Swans always seem to have the home crowd advantage, there?s no denying the Bulldogs? record at Manuka ? they have only lost once in five starts, while the Swans have won just on in the last four matches and it was an uninspiring win over a then-bottom-side in Melbourne. The crowd is always good and predominately red and white so the Swans will be hoping to secure a rare win in the nation?s capital.

    The weather looks like being cool-ish but no signs of rain which will be good for the Swans who have played sodden, rain-soaked matched over the last few weeks. The Bulldogs cruised to an easy win here this time last year but both teams seem more evenly matched this time around.

    Key Players

    Shane Mumford/Mike Pyke v Ben Hudson/Will Minson

    Both teams will have more stability in the ruck with the Swans going with Pyke as their second ruckman after White?s omission. Mumford amassed a season high 43 hit-outs last week and contributed two goals for the second week in a row. Pyke looks to have improved again this year and he was more than able in the ruck last week with some beautiful touches and a ferocious tackle on Bryce Gibbs.

    Minson was just as good last week with a huge 56 hit-outs against Collingwood in his first game for the season. Hudson is back from an ankle injury and they made a formidable rucking partnership and one the Swans will do well to stop. If Mumford and Pyke can match or even beat the Bulldogs duo, it will go a long way to securing the game for the Swans.


    The Swans Midfielders

    Losing Jack is a significant blow for the Swans and will mean the likes of McVeigh, O?Keefe and Hannebery will need to step up this week. Along with Kennedy, they will be the main men in the middle for the Swans with Gordon likely to get a run-with role in his first game. If the Swans can win in the middle, it should ensure some good delivery to the likes of Reid, McGlynn and Goodes up forward. McGlynn has been a shining light for the Swans and kicked four last week. Another performance like that from the small forward will help the Swans get ahead.

    The Bulldogs? Forward Line

    The Bulldogs are again without their key forward target in Barry Hall and Longmire says it will only make them less predictable. The Bulldogs always seem to score easily against the Swans so the defence will have to be switched on. Grundy?s inclusion gives the Swans defence some structure but it will be Smith, Shaw and Richards who will be called on to keep the Bulldogs? small forwards quiet.

    Prediction

    This is a game that both sides need to win to keep in touch with the top eight. It won?t be a season-ender for either team but will make the run to the finals that little bit harder. The Bulldogs will be out to arrest their inconsistent year and keep their excellent form against the Swans going. The Swans need a win after their last two disappointing matches and this young-ish side needs a morale boost. It will most likely be a fast paced and high scoring game so if the Swans can make the most of their opportunities and put together a four-quarter game then they should be able to take down the Bulldogs ? it?s not going to be easy though.

    Swans by 4
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Frog's Avatar
      Frog -
      Thanks Alison.
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Thanks Alison. I'm tipping the Bulldogs; we seem to do better then.
    1. Big Al's Avatar
      Big Al -
      The articles this year have been of a really high quality this year. That run will sadly come to end next week but normal service will resume the week after.
    1. dimelb's Avatar
      dimelb -
      Quote Originally Posted by dimelb View Post
      Thanks Alison. I'm tipping the Bulldogs; we seem to do better then.
      Always glad to help.
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