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Harder Swans brought Pies unstuck

Date

Teams will have to work hard to beat Sydney.

Glory days: Kieren Jack celebrates a goal against Collingwood earlier this year.

Glory days: Kieren Jack celebrates a goal against Collingwood earlier this year.

In an era in which it's hard for teams to string together any number of wins, let alone against the same opponent, Collingwood's six-year winning streak over Sydney was one of the game's most significant.

The Magpies owned the Swans from midway through the 2006 season until late last year, notching up 11 wins on the trot, no fewer than seven of them on Sydney's second home, ANZ Stadium.

Like all good things, though, it finally came to an end - and at the worst possible moment - in last year's preliminary final.

And while Sydney's run over the Pies amounts to only two, it has been the manner of those victories that have made it clear it is Collingwood which now has to do some catching up.

While Sydney loves the hard ball, it's been the Swans' hard running that has brought the Magpies unstuck.

In last year's preliminary final, it was the usual midfield suspects such as Dan Hannebery, Ryan O'Keefe, Josh Kennedy and Kieren Jack doing the damage, but also outside runner Lewis Jetta, whose bursts from a wing and three goals made the biggest difference.

In round nine this year, Hannebery and Jack again held the midfield together, the damaging run this time provided off half-back by Nick Malceski and Jarrad McVeigh.

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley knows how significantly the goalposts have shifted when it comes to taking on the Swans, and that the defensive pressure and run which the Magpies managed to generate against Essendon last weekend will have to be ramped up to another level again on Saturday night.

"They're still a high-stoppage side, but they love that rebound from the back half in particular and their power running through midfield is definitely a strength of theirs, so that's the challenge for us," Buckley said on Wednesday.

"They taught us a lesson in round nine. It was their hard two-way running; they were really clean with the ball when they had it, and pressured us really well when we had it, so it was comprehensive. It was a lesson to us. We believe we've improved on that, and we get to test it."

For Collingwood, having Dayne Beams back in the midfield mix and Luke Ball beginning to recapture his best has brought much-needed relief to the load carried by Scott Pendlebury and Dane Swan all season.

But even so, Buckley knows his side will be stretched to its limits in terms of midfield numbers and work-rate, given the form of the Sydney on-ballers, not the least co-captain Jack, who shone again last Sunday against the Bulldogs with 30 disposals and two goals.

"I think he's probably the poster boy for the self-made player," Buckley said. "He came into the game with a level of talent probably mid-range, I reckon, if you really want to be honest about it, and what he's been able to do is create an extremely damaging, hard-working footballer who is now hitting the scoreboard.

"His hard run, up and back, is extraordinary, he's laying tackles at a rate of seven a game, so he's tipping into all areas of the game. He's just a really strong athlete who has found a way to maximise his talent in the game and become one of the better midfielders, all down to his ability to work and push himself and continually improve."

And in Collingwood's bid to wrest back the advantage from an opponent now with the ascendancy, you sense that for an example of what will be required on Saturday, the Sydney co-captain might temporarily become the Magpie coach's poster boy as well.

7 comments so far

  • Rohan, two weeks ago you had the swans finishing fifth. On the weekend you stated that the Swans don't have the skill to go with Hawthorn or Geelong. Now you're claiming that the Swans are going to be hard to beat. My wife changes her mind less often......and she too has super powers in hindsight.

    Commenter
    Damo2
    Location
    Malvern east
    Date and time
    August 08, 2013, 10:02AM
    • Rohan,fair dinkum mate ,if Sydney roll the pies this weekend I will bare my backside is Bourne street. All your points are based on Sydney playing another top team but no team,,repeat NO TEAM. Can play another you liner with so many injured and expect to win,reality tells you it isn't about to happen,ill ask you this,where would the other teams be if Sydney lost so many top liners yet still can beat the others? It would be a one horse race wouldn't it,and it just dont happen,,pies by 33 points,guaranteed mate.

      Commenter
      Jocko
      Location
      Sth Morang
      Date and time
      August 09, 2013, 12:49AM
      • I hope you're right about the result but I don't think so.

        Commenter
        Christos
        Date and time
        August 09, 2013, 10:37PM
      • 33 points? when was the last time Sydney lost by 33??

        Dreamer mate

        I take it you mean Bourke Street, photos or it didn't happen ... hope you shave down for it ..

        Commenter
        fuco
        Date and time
        August 10, 2013, 2:25PM
    • is 29 ok?

      Commenter
      done
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 9:10AM
      • Can anybody tell me why the AFL are in "Talks" with the Bumblers over the punishment?

        Why are the AFL not standing up as the LEADER and saying
        "This is your punishment - Case Closed"

        Commenter
        Davo
        Location
        Langers
        Date and time
        August 12, 2013, 10:25AM
        • Jocko, great call, almost exactly spot on with the result too. You can do my footy tips any time....
          Rohan needs to lift his game!

          Commenter
          Go Pies!!
          Date and time
          August 12, 2013, 1:17PM

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          CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
          GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
          ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
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          NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
          STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
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          NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
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          COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
          STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
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          RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
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          CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
          GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
          WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
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          BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
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          CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
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          ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
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          ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
          WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
          NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
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          GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
          HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
          BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
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          Round 16
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          NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
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          GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
          GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
          COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
          SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
          FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
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          PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
          STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
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          CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
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          GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
          ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
          RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
          ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
          BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
          Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
          WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
          MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
          WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
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          Round 18
          Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
          HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
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          GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
          COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
          SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
          CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
          GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
          Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
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          ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
          FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
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          Round 19
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          ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
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          COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
          WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
          BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
          GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
          WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
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          MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
          GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
          STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
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          Round 20
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          SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
          Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
          ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
          NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
          PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
          GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
          BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
          Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
          RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
          WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
          FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
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          Round 21
          Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
          HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
          Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
          COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
          GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
          GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
          STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
          ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
          Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
          NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
          CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
          WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
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          Round 22
          Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
          GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
          Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
          GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
          HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
          NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
          ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
          GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
          Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
          ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
          STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
          FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
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          Round 23
          Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
          RIC ($1.29)vs NTH ($3.60) 19:50ES
          Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
          GEE ($2.60)vs ADE ($1.50) 13:05SS
          BRI ($4.50)vs WBU ($1.20) 13:45G
          PTA ($1.10)vs FRE ($6.50) 15:50Adelaide Oval
          HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($17.00) 16:40MCG
          SYD ($1.04)vs GCF ($11.00) 19:20SCG
          WCE ($1.04)vs STK ($11.00) 19:40Domain Stadium
          Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
          MEL ($3.20)vs GWS ($1.36) 13:10ES
          COL ($1.28)vs ESS ($3.70) 15:20MCG
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          Overall standings
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          Fremantle 21 17 4 0 125.10 68
          West Coast Eagles 21 15 5 1 143.00 62
          Hawthorn 21 15 6 0 156.77 60
          Sydney Swans 21 15 6 0 124.11 60
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