Hard-running utility Jake Lloyd is confident the Sydney Swans can not only match their “hard, physical edge” that got the better of North Melbourne last weekend but take it to another level to help deliver their third-straight win of the season.
Hopes for a third consecutive victory will hinge, Lloyd said, on whether Sydney can continue playing 'Swans football' and apply the heat to stop St Kilda in its tracks when the clubs meet at Docklands on Saturday.
The in-form Saints are coming off the back of three consecutive wins, including a strong runaway victory against GWS, to sit sixth on the ladder with five wins and three losses overall.
They’re playing an exciting brand of football, underlined by quick ball movement and marking power. The likes of Nick Reiwoldt, Josh Bruce and Tim Membrey sees St Kilda ranked second for marks inside 50 (13.8 average).
Lloyd, who starred in the Swans’ 42-point win against the Roos on Sunday, believed his side is on the way to recapturing the same brand which carried them all the way to last year’s Grand Final and there will be no better time than Saturday to put this to the test.
“Contested footy is something we pride out game on, it’s certainly part of the culture of this club,” he said.
“That hard physical edge, it wasn’t apparent in the first six rounds so we’ve certainly shown glimpses of what we can do when we’re hard and clean around the footy.
“It’s obviously another great contest this weekend against St Kilda, (contested football) is obviously a strength of theirs as well. They’re very quick, they can move the ball out of defence quickly and score heavily.
“We’ve got to be on top of our game, we’ve got to take another step from last weekend’s game. We need to be hard and clean around the footy, then run and spread hard as well.”
The 23-year-old was one of the best in his sides' big win over the Roos, racking up 29 disposals at nearly 80 per cent efficiency.
He seems to be revelling his role across half-back, averaging just under 30 disposals per game, while providing important drive from the backline in the absence of Jarrad McVeigh and Dane Rampe in the opening two months of the season.
It was McVeigh's absence, in Round 18 last season, which gave Lloyd the opportunity in the first place. He collected 28 touches and nine rebound 50s that night to "add another string to his bow."
"It's a cliche but I'm happy to play wherever," Lloyd added.
"I'm happy down there and I'm confident at the moment in my ability.
"When the guys around me are playing good football, it makes it a lot easier for me as well."
Lloyd will this week be without his former skipper after McVeigh was ruled out of the Round 9 encounter, but in a positive spin Dane Rampe could return for his first game since Round 1.