VITAL COG: Dan Hannebery of the Swans will be a key man when his side takes on the Western Bulldogs.
VITAL COG: Dan Hannebery of the Swans will be a key man when his side takes on the Western Bulldogs. JULIAN SMITH

On-ball battle key to beating Dogs, say Swans

AFL: Sydney assistant coach Stewart Dew says the Swans’ on-ball brigade can come out on top against the Bulldogs at the SCG tomorrow.

Dew expected the likes of Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis and Luke Dalhaus to come hard at the second-placed Swans.

But Sydney ranks No.1 in the AFL as the best contested ball team with Dan Hannebery, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker leading the way.

The Bulldogs are third in the competition for contested possessions, but Dew said the Swans could handle whatever the Dogs threw at them in the midfield.

“It’s as big a challenge as there is to be able to beat them in that area, let alone match them,” he said.

“We will back our players in and then it becomes how much pressure we can put on them to determine the effectiveness of their ball use.”

Both teams are coming off the bye, with the Swans welcoming back Jeremy Laidler, who will replace defender Aliir Aliir after missing the win over Melbourne two weeks ago with soreness.



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