Footy Fix: a round of rivalries
Rohan Connolly previews round two of the AFL season, including Richmond's clash with Carlton at the MCG.PT0M0S 620 349
One could be forgiven for thinking it's round 22 rather than round two when Sydney host Collingwood on Saturday in an AFL battle of more than usual early season significance.
Both sides are coming off an embarrassing loss, the Magpies a 70-point thrashing at the hands of Fremantle and the Swans a 32-point upset defeat by young crosstown rivals GWS.
Even the Swans, who are masters of hosing down rather than hyping games, acknowledge their ANZ Stadium encounter is a big deal.
Sydney's Kieren Jack and Collingwood's Jarryd Blair in action in 2013. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
"They will be coming up here wanting to redeem themselves and we're after redemption too, so it's going to be on," said Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack.
"It's going to be a big game early in the year too, round two, there's a lot on the line.
"They certainly set themselves for this game, and it will be two quality teams going at it and I think the hardest team on the day is going to win."
Beating Collingwood might also stem the chatter about star recruit Lance Franklin is fitting in, something that the Swans have rarely had to deal with in the past.
"The only way we can stop the talk and the innuendo that's going on is really to perform on the weekend," Jack said.
Former Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell, who will be playing his 200th game, warned the Magpies simply have to lift if they are to avoid a 0-2 start to their campaign.
"We know how good (Sydney) are, and particularly at contested footy and clearances around the ball, and how dangerous they are up forward," Maxwell said.
"We are just going to have to make sure that we bring our A-game, otherwise it will be a similar result."
Collingwood have won nine of their 12 encounters with Sydney at cavernous ANZ Stadium.
"I don't think (that ground record) means too much where you're playing, it's just a matter of who turns up on the night and who wants it more," Jack said.
Jack returns from a back injury and former Richmond ruckman Tom Derickx makes his Swans debut.
Former Swan Jesse White is back from injury to face his old club in his Collingwood debut and fellow forward Jarryd Blair also comes in.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity that Collingwood gave me to come down and play for the Black and White Army and even more excited to debut against my old side," said White.