Fri, Sep 16, 10:16am by Jake Equid
Date and Time: Saturday September 17, 7:25pm
TV: Live on Channel 7, Fox Footy
The Sydney Swans have more riding on this one than meets the eye. A loss would mean they are the first minor-premier to be bundled out in straight sets since North Melbourne in 1983. The Crows put the aforementioned club to the sword in their first final last week to the tune of 62 points. Both of these clubs presented as Premiership contenders at different stages throughout the year so whatever the outcome there will be blood spilt.
Adding to the pressure on the Swans, their recent finals record is not good; they’ve lost their past four finals dating back to the decider against Hawthorn in 2014. They laid 32 less tackles than the Giants last week and were quite simply ‘beaten up’ by the younger brother.
Adelaide has tasted victory in six of the sides’ past eight clashes at the SCG, however they have only played on the venue twice in the past five years so a big portion of the squad would not have played in the last win back in 2012.
Rising Star winner Callum Mills injured his right hamstring in the second quarter of the qualifying final loss to GWS on Saturday, while ruckman Kurt Tippett suffered a non-displaced hairline fracture of his jaw in the first term. Mills will need the Swans to make the Grand Final if he is a chance to return and even then it will be touch and go. The replacements for the pair will be Toby Nankervis and Jeremy Laidler.
The Crows continued their scintillating form forward of centre last week, kicking 100 points for the 17th time this season. They average 114 points per game and are the highest scoring team in the league. The Swans average 98 points per game this season, but were held to 7.13 (55) last week against the Giants, their lowest score of the season.
The Swans need a huge game from Buddy Franklin. He worked hard last week but quite often found himself right up the ground. He had a lot of the ball, amassing 20 disposals but he didn’t hit the scoreboard and the Swans definitely need him to do that this week. He’ll enjoy being back on the smaller SCG and I’m backing him to bounce back. He’s paying $7 to kick the first goal which may be worth a nibble.
As mentioned, history is on the Swans side as the last time a minor premier went out in straight sets was in 1983 when, under a top-five system, North Melbourne was belted in both the second semi-final (40 points) and the preliminary final (86 points).
I’m going to take the Crows to reverse the historical trends and win this one. They’re offence is first class and the Giants were able to ruffle the Swans feathers last week.
BEST BET: Adelaide to win: $2.55
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