Jack: Swans primed to hit form

Sportal September 6, 2012, 1:38 pm
Kieren Jack

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Sydney midfielder Kieren Jack said his side's disappointing losses to Collingwood, Hawthorn and Geelong over the past month are the perfect build up for Saturday's qualifying final against Adelaide.

The Swans limped home with three losses in the final four rounds to surrender home-ground advantage and set up a daunting road trip to AAMI Stadium to face the Crows.

But Jack, one of four Swans named in an initial 40-man All Australian squad on Wednesday, believes the rocky road to the playoffs will prove a blessing in disguise.

"I think it's been an ideal preparation for us, what we've been able to learn over the past month is that our best is good enough - we can compete with the best," Jack said.

"We've been able to play in some really hard, finals-like games which has been good for the group so we head over there pretty hardened and really looking forward to the challenge."

The Swans were comprehensively beaten by Geelong at Simonds Stadium last weekend, but the fact they let late leads slip against the Pies and Hawks is of more concern for John Longmire's men.

Jack is adamant his team-mates have not been mentally scarred by the narrow defeats.

"I think it's probably the other way, what we've been able to gain out of those losses is things that we can improve on, things we would have done differently," he said.

"So I'm sure if that situation arises again I know the boys will respond in a different manner.

"It's probably a good thing that's happened to the group... and hopefully we'll learn from that and respond if we need to."

The Swans head to Adelaide having lost eight of their previous nine clashes in the city of churches.

Jack concedes shutting down Patrick Dangerfield and co in the midfield is the key to causing an upset on Saturday afternoon.

"He's (Dangerfield) a fantastic player around the stoppages, I know last time we played Adelaide I played on him and he was enormous through the stoppages," he said.

"So we've got to try and combat that and I think we've just got to back our system in, it's going to be our midfield against theirs and we've got to try and negate them but then try and hurt them as well.

"The midfield battle's probably going to win and lost the game I think.

"Their midfield's been in really good nick all year and it's a big challenge for our boys."

Meanwhile, Jack admits the loss of key defender Heath Grundy through suspension is a set-back but is confident the back six can still contain the dangerous Crows forward line.

Lewis Roberts-Thomson is expected to return to the defensive line after playing primarily as a forward all season.

"The back six have been pretty solid for most of the year, so yeah it hinders us a little bit... but I'm sure they'll get that mix right and I'm confident with the back six whoever they pick," he said.

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