Swans AFL forwards have big defence job

Sam Reid says Sydney’s much-vaunted forward line must also produce the goods defensively, if the Swans are to vanquish Hawthorn in Saturday’s AFL grand final.

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The high-powered tall quartet of Reid, Lance Franklin, Kurt Tippett and Adam Goodes have combined for 153 goals this season.

While they provide Sydney with plenty of attacking potency and options, Reid stressed the Swans forwards also have a big part to play in applying forward pressure on the Hawks defenders to prevent them from servicing their own high-octane forward line.

“They are a super dangerous side, especially out of their back half,” Reid told AAP.

“They’ve got some really good ball users, (Grant) Birchall and (Matthew) Suckling, They are all really dangerous players that you need to shut down.

“We (the forwards) are the first line of that. Coming out of defence, we’ll need to slow them down and make sure their ball use isn’t too easy to targets outside the 50.

“We need to shut that down if we we’re to have any chance of winning.”

While Franklin is renowned for his prolific goalkicking deeds, Reid stressed the mercurial forward was also adept at harrying opposing backs.

“He’s one of the best at forward pressure,” Reid said of Franklin.

Reid jarred a knee in last Friday’s preliminary final win over North Melbourne, but said it had pulled up well and he expected to train on Thursday and be available for the game.

Sydney’s acquisition of Franklin and Tippett over the past two years means Reid is playing a very different role to the one he performed in Sydney’s 2012 premiership-winning team.

“In 2012, Goodesy and myself were probably the two main keys up there that were stay at home forwards and there was probably only the two of us,” Reid said.

He has enjoyed spending time this year in the ruck and down back and doesn’t seem to be fretting over the reduction in scoring opportunities, with Franklin and Tippett usually the two main targets.

“I still had opportunity (up forward) this year,” said Reid, who has kicked 17.9 in 19 appearances.

Posted by at 25/04/2019
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