Sport AFL Swans fearful of AFL cellar-dwellers

Swans fearful of AFL cellar-dwellers

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Hoodoos were meant to be broken in the AFL – just ask Sydney ahead of Saturday night’s Gabba clash with cellar dwellers Brisbane Lions.

The last time Brisbane emerged triumphant over the Swans was way back in 2009.

It has ensured Sydney have won 15 of their last 17 games against the former three-time champions dating back to round 18, 2004.

And that streak did not look like being snapped any time soon after the withdrawal of Lions gamebreaker Pearce Hanley (hamstring) on Thursday.

However, this year has taught an up and down Sydney (3-3) not to take anything for granted.

Barely two weeks ago North Melbourne notched their first SCG win over the Swans in 10 years and first victory over Sydney in nine attempts – a 43-point round four upset.

And the stage was set for Sydney’s rollercoaster start to 2014 when Greater Western Sydney ambushed their cross town rivals in a stunning season opening upset.

Swans defender Ted Richards said his side would assume nothing when they ran out against the dead last Lions despite stringing together back to back season wins for the first time.

“One thing I’ve known in my time in football is you can’t take anything for granted,” he said.

“I think if we just assume things are going to happen, then we’ll get found out pretty quick.

“I think it should be irrelevant where a team is on the ladder.

“We treat every team just equally and it’s worked for us in the past and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

Sydney can break into the top eight for the first time this season with a Gabba win.

Even without Lance Franklin (knee) and Kurt Tippett (rib), Sydney are expected to have too much firepower with Adam Goodes and Sam Reid in their forward line.

But Richards did not have to be reminded that Brisbane would be buzzing from their maiden win – last round’s three point victory over St Kilda – after enduring a tough 2014 start.

“I’m sure that (win) will give them some confidence,” he said.

“But at the same time I notice that they’ve played Hawthorn, Geelong and Port Adelaide.

“It’s not like they’ve had easy games so far.”

Meanwhile, Rohan Bewick replaces Hanley in the only change to the side that emerged triumphant last round in Wellington.

Hanley looked set to play after being nursed through the week but pulled up sore after Thursday’s training.

Veteran midfielder Brent Moloney was again overlooked.