Swan on-ballers must outdo Pies: McVeigh
Co-captain Jarrad McVeigh says he and fellow midfielders must be more accountable than last time if Sydney are to end their 11-match AFL losing streak against Collingwood and reach the AFL grand final.
The Swans had seven more scoring shots and eight more inside-50s than the `Pies in the most recent clash between the teams on August 11 at ANZ Stadium, the same venue where they meet in Friday night’s preliminary final.
Most of the stats were in the Swans’ favour, but not the one that counted – they suffered an eight-point loss.
That clash has been thoroughly reviewed this week by the Swans and McVeigh was in no doubt about where the game was lost.
“We probably got smacked in the midfield,” McVeigh said on Wednesday.
“That was one area we weren’t too happy with, so we’ll have to rectify that this week.
“We were too far off those guys and allowed them too much ball.
“Their midfield’s been playing really well with (Dayne) Beams, (Dane) Swan, (Scott) Pendlebury – and (Dale) Thomas is back in form now.
“That’s where their guns are, so we have to quell their influence and hurt them the other way.”
McVeigh, Ryan O’Keefe, Kieren Jack, Luke Parker, Daniel Hannebery and Josh Kennedy had no answers in that match, despite the latter tallying a remarkable 40 disposals, eight tackles and 11 inside-50s.
To make matters worse for the Swans, the Magpies won last time despite Thomas being subbed out in the second quarter and Swan not playing due to a club-imposed suspension for drinking.
Sydney were also guilty of wasting a handful of chances to win the game in the fourth term.
“We had a lot to improve on, and at the end of the game there were structural things we didn’t get right as well in the heat of the moment,” McVeigh said.
“So we can definitely improve, and they’ve improved as well so it’s going to be a tight game I’d imagine.”
While the home-ground advantage and a six-day turnaround are in the Swans’ favour, finals experience is something the Magpies have in spades.
Only nine of the Swans’ likely team have featured in a preliminary final, as opposed to the bulk of Collingwood’s squad.
McVeigh was confident his younger teammates would perform on the big stage.
“They’re pretty level-headed guys, we don’t get ahead of ourselves,” the 27-year-old said.
“They’ve been fine. They’ve played in finals in the last couple of years and got that experience.”© AAP 2013
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