Saints goalsneaks worry Swans

Sportal July 20, 2012, 3:12 pm
Ahmed Saad

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Sydney coach John Longmire is wary of the threat St Kilda's small forwards will pose to his high-flying team at the SCG on Sunday.

The Swans, fresh from their big win over West Coast at Patersons Stadium which sent them top of the AFL ladder, are eager for revenge after a 28-point loss to the Saints in Round 9.

St Kilda's livewire forwards Stephen Milne, Ahmed Saad and Terry Milera combined to kick six goals, while midfielder Jack Steven also kicked two.

Speaking on Friday, Longmire said he was aware of the 'headaches' the forwards could cause, while Adam Schneider was also likely to play after missing the meeting between the sides earlier in the year.

"They are (dangerous). It's one of their real strengths," Longmire said.

"We know what a great player (Milne's) been for St Kilda Football Club over a long period of time. A small forward to kick over 500 goals is just an indication of how good a player he's been and still is.

"Their other couple of young, small forwards they've got in the team now is really creating a few headaches."

Longmire said he was 'likely' to name the same 22 that thrashed West Coast by 52 points at Patersons Stadium, with Lewis Roberts-Thomson (concussion) expected to play.

Star ruckman Shane Mumford missed the clash against the Saints at Etihad Stadium, but has gradually been improving since returning in Round 10.

It was a combination of Jason Blake and Justin Koschitzke that helped the Saints win the ruck when the teams last met, winning the hitouts 46-38.

With Ben McEvoy back and Koschitzke in support, Longmire said it was an area Sydney needed to get right.

"McEvoy is a quality ruckman and so is Justin Koschitzke," he said.

"Last time we played St Kilda we were beaten soundly in the ruck and that's something that we need to address.

"We were beaten in most areas, but that was certainly one. What we're after is a really strong contest in that part of the ground."

Longmire said he was pleased with the progress Mumford was making after the former Cat performed admirably alongside Mike Pyke against formidable West Coast pair Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui last week.

"He's built on his form week to week and I thought that last week was a big job playing against the two ruckmen that he played against - both he and Pykey," Longmire said.

"His ruckwork is very good and he competes really hard in the air, but when the ball hits the ground he's a ruckman who gives you another player at ground level."

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