Finals-type intensity in Sydney AFL derby
Posted on 09/18/19 8:44 PM
Sydney captain Josh Kennedy (R) is expecting a finals-type game in Saturday’s AFL derby against GWS.It’s only round three but Sydney captain and midfield dynamo Josh Kennedy says his team will need to bring finals-like intensity to match local rivals Greater Western Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.
The Swans won two pre-season matches against GWS and their most recent AFL game last year.
But before that the Giants had won three in a row against their cross-town rivals.
GWS are 2-0 this season and have never won their first three matches.
The Swans are 1-1 and hell-bent on bouncing back from last week’s home loss to Port Adelaide.
Kennedy and teammate Heath Grundy and Giants co-captain Callan Ward are the only men to have played all 13 Sydney derbies.
“Everyone talks about their speed and their polish on the outside but there’s also no doubt that they are a really good contested footy team,” Kennedy told AAP.
“It will be a finals-like game and you’re going to have to bring that finals-like intensity to match them, so we really set ourselves.”
Kennedy acknowledged Sydney were off the boil in the second half against a determined Port side last week, fumbling the ball and missing kicks.
“Hopefully that’s a quick fix and it’s going to have to be to take on GWS this week.”
Ward was understandably wary of a Swans side coming off a chastening loss.
“I guess the Swans after they lose will always be even hungrier,” Ward told AAP.
“But any time the Swans play I think they are an extremely proud club and they always play with the right attitude and they always come out to play, so I expect no different this weekend.”
Ward is looking for GWS to produce a stronger four-quarter effort at the SCG, after just holding off a tenacious Collingwood at the MCG last weekend.
“I guess in the past we would probably have almost lost that game, so to answer the challenge and come back and win from that position was pleasing,” Ward said.
“I think that’s the next step that we’ve taken.
“I guess the next step now is to just be ultra consistent throughout the whole game, because at times against Collingwood we slipped up for five or 10 minutes and they kicked a few quick goals.”
Sydney welcome back influential key forward Sam Reid from a hamstring issue, while GWS have recalled inside midfielder Jacob Hopper and young defender Harry Perryman to replace the injured Tom Scully and Zac Langdon.