Sydney Swans assistant coach Brett Kirk is urging his forward group to bring the same intensity and pressure they served up to the Western Bulldogs in Friday night’s blockbuster against Collingwood.
Kirk was impressed with the intent shown by his forwards against the Bulldogs’ much-heralded defence, the visitors generating 40 percent of their scores from turnovers in the fierce contest at Etihad Stadium.
While Sam Reid and Lance Franklin led the charge on the scoreboard, it was the Club’s smaller types and debutants who set the tone.
“The front half, if you look specifically the weekend, we wanted to put a lot of pressure on the Western Bulldogs’ defence,” Kirk said.
“They’ve got a lot of running rebounding defenders and I think we were able to do that probably consistently, although we lapsed at different times.
“Sam had a really strong game, Lance’s last quarter was super and some of the young fellas who came in – (Robbie) Fox and (Will) Hayward and (Ollie) Florent –their run, chase, and tackles were really energy-lifting for the rest of the team.
“Front half is not just about kicking goals but it’s about holding (the footy) in there and I think they did a really good job of that.”
There will be some reshuffling to the forward structure on Friday night after dual position player Kurt Tippett was ruled out with an ankle injury.
One of either Callum Sinclair or Darcy Cameron looks likely to replace Tippett and shoulder the ruckwork alongside Sam Naismith.
The pair kicked two goals apiece for the NEAFL Swans in last weekend’s season opener and will be a suitable fit to combat the Collingwood rucks in the air as well as play a significant role forward.
“With Kurt looking unlikely this weekend, there’s a decision the match committee will have to make,” Kirk said.
“Both have been in good for, Sinclair has a bit more experience on his side, they both can have an impact up forward and in the ruck.
“We’ll wait for a decision from the match committee to see if we go in with one or two ruckmen.”