Dees' intensity dialled up for Swans clash

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Melbourne's first loss of the AFL season has put the reigning premiers "back on edge" in an ominous sign for challengers Sydney.

A scintillating third-quarter burst by Fremantle last week tore the Demons to shreds, ending their 17-match winning streak in emphatic fashion.

The upset shocked the competition and offered flag hopefuls some sort of blueprint on how best to combat the ladder leaders.

But it has also set the competitive juices flowing through Simon Goodwin's charges ahead of Saturday night's clash with the seventh-placed Swans at the MCG.

"Naturally, it puts your environment a bit back on edge," Dees coach Goodwin said, adding he had seen renewed energy and intensity in his players this week.

"You're a competitor, you want to win and we'll learn when we win, but we'll also learn when we lose.

"There's no question that when you've got a group of players that are such high-level competitors that want to win and be successful, a loss always puts the environment back on edge in a good way.

"People reflect a little bit deeper about where they're at, how they can perform and the purpose that they're having day to day, and that's from the coaches all the way through to our players.

"It's a different feeling this week, there's no doubt about that, but one that we've embraced with the opportunities that present in front of us."

Four premiership players are back to boost Melbourne, with defender Christian Salem (knee) returning for his first game since round one.

Ed Langdon (ribs), Tom McDonald (ankle) and James Harmes (calf) have also been cleared to play.

Versatile defender Adam Tomlinson, who missed the flag with a knee injury, has been recalled as cover for All-Australian star Steven May (concussion).

Sam Weideman, Toby Bedford, Trent Rivers, Jake Melksham and Luke Dunstan make way.

Sydney have brought back dashing defender Nick Blakey and developing tall Joel Amartey to bolster the side that edged Richmond by six points in a thriller last week.

But the Swans will be without superstar Lance Franklin because of his one-game suspension for striking Trent Cotchin.

"It's obviously disappointing but in previous years we've actually done well without (Franklin)," Swans forward Tom Papley said.

"Will Hayward's kicking goals, Isaac Heeney, Sam Reid last week kicked three ... I'm confident the boys can get the system going without him."

Melbourne and Sydney locked horns in a tight contest at the MCG in round eight last year, with the home side prevailing by nine points.

The Demons have not lost consecutive games since rounds 15 and 16 in 2020, coincidentally against Fremantle and Sydney.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting