Roos v Swans in preliminary showdown

CROSS-town rivals North Coffs and Coffs Swans will battle it out in a preliminary final showdown at the BCU International Stadium tomorrow.

The resurgence of the Kangaroos has come at the right end of the season and they look primed for a clash that can see them face off against the in-form Sawtell in next week's grand final.

The Kangaroos' hierarchy has been planning for a clash with the Swans and have a few tricks up their sleeves in preparation for the side coming off a disappointing loss last start.

With Brad Giri and Darren Funston looking fresh and putting out strong showings in their first semi-final clash against Port Macquarie, the Swans will have to step up after being dominated in the clearances against Sawtell last week.

Funston will be hard to mark up if the 'Roos adopt the same ploy of starting him in the centre and moving him to half-forward, where he booted five goals. Jordan O'Connor led well up the ground and has fantastic marking ability and will require the attention of a tall defender.

Tom Merrick is in serious doubt with a hamstring injury, and if absent will be a loss to the running 'Roos' midfield.

Sam Dawes is in irrepressible form and it will be interesting to see who the Swans line-up on him because he demands attention. Dawes' strong marking and long kicking is well suited to the stadium's surrounds and will be a key for the 'Roos.

The Swans need to step up to have a chance. Their decision making under pressure was questionable last week and this will be exploited by the tight North Coffs' midfield.

Evan Duryea was under-utilised up forward and might get the close attention of Josh Drum this week. Drum held Jesse Schmidt well in a similar role a fortnight ago in his return from injury.

Run and enterprise from the midfield can only be achieved by winning the contested ball. The Swans have to be prepared to get their hands dirty to assist Peter Chadwick and Tristan Snow. Dave Colman is one player with experience who needs to step up.

Shane Adams has been impressive across half-forward while Zac Bullivant and Rob Eddy are the keys along with Chadwick and Duryea for the Swans to win.

It's neck up or belly up for the traditional local rivals. The Kangaroos will want to repeat last year's feats where they knocked the Swans out of the finals' race.



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