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Finals footy no different for Swans

Luke McManus  September 13, 2017 8:44 AM

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Harry Cunningham takes a strong mark in front of Travis Colyer on Saturday at the SCG.

Speedster Harry Cunningham believes the game style the coaches have imparted on the playing group stands up in the cut and thrust of finals.

And at the same time brings out the best in the leaders and, in turn, the rest of the playing group.

Cunningham was front and centre to the Swans’ demolition job of Essendon in last weekend’s Elimination Final win at the SCG, having won a last-minute recall in place of Lewis Melican (quad) leading up to the first bounce.

A second-quarter blitz, led by Lance Franklin (four goals), gave the home side an unassailable lead and subsequently locked in a semi-final berth against Geelong.

It wasn’t just Franklin’s heroics and his side’s potency up forward but a ruthless approach built around a strong defence and overwhelming pressure on the opposition which got the job done.

Longmire described the display as “strong” and “powerful” in his post-match press conference, a brand of footy instilled in Cunningham during his preliminary years at the Sydney Swans.

“I’ve been lucky enough to be in the system for six years now and played in a few finals,” Cunningham said on RSN’s Big Sports Breakfast on Monday.

“The Swans have always been about success and love playing a finals brand of football.

“We want to play a finals-brand of footy every week.”

Cunningham continued, heaping praise on the leadership group who help drive standards not only throughout the season but when September arrives.

“The leaders are great in setting the example and bringing that intensity and bringing it up a couple of gears when finals start.

“Dan Hannebery, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker all had great games on the weekend because they thrive on the pressure and love playing big games in finals.

“You jump on the back of those guys and they always lead from the front.”

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