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Cats await in cut-throat final

Sydney Swans Media  September 11, 2017 2:44 PM

Kennedy post match (Ch 7) Captain Josh Kennedy speaks to Jude Bolton after our elimination final win.
Isaac Heeney celebrates a goal against Geelong in the 2016 preliminary final at the MCG. - Sydney Swans,Geelong Cats,MCG

Isaac Heeney celebrates a goal against Geelong in the 2016 preliminary final at the MCG.

The Sydney Swans are under no illusion of the challenge they face against Geelong in Friday night’s cut-throat semi-final.

Confidence within the playing group is riding high on the back of a convincing 65-point win over Essendon on Saturday night.

Not only was it the performance of Lance Franklin (8 disposals, four goals), Josh Kennedy (29 disposals) and Luke Parker (27 disposals) that helped down the Dons, but the consistency from the whole playing group, that ensured the win.

Callum Sinclair was also a standout, kicking three goals and taking nine marks in a dominant aerial display, his performance a timely one after winning selection ahead of fellow big man Kurt Tippett during the week.

Dean Towers was another to stand up on the big stage, finishing with 14 disposals, five tackles and three goals.

While there was plenty to like from last weekend’s elimination final win at the SCG, Isaac Heeney says the team will need to re-group quickly ahead the short turnaround and another big game against the top-four finishing Cats.

“We have 18 to 22 players playing their role at the moment which is really important heading into finals,” Heeney told Triple M on Monday.

“We have a lot of confidence within the group and we are starting to play some four-quarter footy.

“Going into finals you need to have a good four-quarter performance to get a win over your opponent especially against Geelong this weekend.”

Heeney said his side adapted to the increase in intensity and pressure well, especially in the second quarter when the home side kicked 10 goals to Essendon’s two, lifting most of the record 46,323-strong crowd out of their seats.

A repeat performance will be needed to account for Geelong in front of an even bigger finals crowd at the MCG.

“It felt great, the fans really got around us and it was a massive crowd for the SCG so it was buzzing,” Heeney added.

“They showed their fierce pressure in the first quarter and we came out in the second quarter and stepped it up another level and were lucky enough to kick eight straight.

“We will only look at this weekend coming up, we won’t look any further ahead.”

Tickets for Friday night’s semi-final against Geelong are now on sale via Ticketek.