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Footy Fix: Indigenous Round preview

Rohan Connolly previews the AFL's Indigenous Round, including the blockbuster Dreamtime at the 'G clash between Richmond and Essendon.

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  • Collingwood will again have to make do without defender Heath Shaw for the clash - suspended last week, Shaw now has a hamstring injury.

    Shaw complained of soreness in his hamstring tendon after the Fremantle game, in which he incurred a one-match suspension for striking forward Hayden Ballantyne. The club has now opted to safeguard against further injury by leaving Shaw out of the clash with reigning premier Sydney.

    Andrew Krakouer.

    Andrew Krakouer. Photo: Getty Images

    The Magpies made only one change, with young midfielder Josh Thomas left out for Marty Clarke to return from illness. Thomas, too, had suffered soreness after last week's win over Geelong but then trained well on Thursday and is expected to play VFL this week.

    The Magpies have persisted with two ruckmen, with Jarrod Witts holding his place in the side alongside No. 1 ruck Darren Jolly in a move designed to stretch the short Swans defence with Lewis Roberts-Thomson out and reliable backman Marty Mattner again forced to miss through a hip injury.

    Krakouer, who kicked three goals last week, said he was still recovering fitness after returning to the club for the pre-season unfit.

    ''I came back a bit underdone and I needed to get a bit of continuity in my training and there is still a bit of work to be done,'' he said.

    ''But I am back to full training now, I'm out there playing and getting my match fitness up so it's a long season so I've just got to keep ticking the boxes, I suppose.''

    Krakouer said Collingwood has rediscovered team-wide intensity in the victory over the Cats.

    ''I think our attitude towards the game changed, our attitude to making sure we do the little things right. I think our pressure was really good, and I think that's what got us into the game, rather than the week before against Fremantle, our pressure was pretty much non-existent and we only played two quarters,'' Krakouer said.

    ''But we came out last week and surprised Geelong and didn't let them play their game. We really pressured them as much as we could, then turned it over and got them the other way.''

    Krakouer and his fellow small forwards Jamie Elliott and Sam Dwyer can expect close attention.

    Swans defender Ted Richards said they would be closed down. ''These guys aren't getting the respect they deserve because Collingwood have so many big names,'' Richards told the club's website.

    ''We've been doing a lot of homework on these guys, some of whom are averaging two to three goals per week so they are really important.''

    The Pies' decision to play the two genuine rucks is also an acknowledgement that the Swans play to true rucks, with Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke handling the ruck duties and pressing forward.

    The Swans are struggling with their efficiency, ranked 17th for percentage of scores from entries inside their forward 50. They are above only the Western Bulldogs. Last year they were ninth in this area.

    The Swans dropped forward Tommy Walsh for youngster Jed Lamb in their only change at selection.