Swans told to up the tempo and intensity
INTENSITY is the key to Sydney beating Collingwood in Saturday night's elimination final at the MCG according to Swans forward Michael O'Loughlin.
Collingwood have won both battles between the two clubs this year downing the Swans by 25 points two weeks ago and by 19 points in round 12.
But O'Loughlin believes if 2006 grand finalists Sydney play with the same intensity that saw them ruffle the Hawks feathers on Sunday, the tables can be turned.
He says the Swans have simply lacked intensity against the Magpies in their two clashes this year.
"When we've played them we haven't brought that to the table," he said.
"It's certainly something you need to play against them - especially in the finals."
Defender Craig Bolton, who will play his 150th AFL match on Saturday, was singing from the same song sheet.
"We got beaten in most areas all over the park (by Collingwood) but speaking broadly intensity was definitely the thing we were lacking," Bolton said.
"We've got to bring a greater will and more intensity than we had in the last couple of contests.
"We had that on the weekend and it was evident in our tackling and our pressure."
O'Loughlin welcomed the return of spearhead Barry Hall from injury, dismissing suggestions the Swans played better last week against Hawthorn without him.
"He can only improve us," the 2005 premiership player said. "We worked well last week, but we certainly missed his big presence.
"Whether he plays up or plays back in the goal square ... I'll just adjust.
"The big man's got right of way."
O'Loughlin, who will break Vic Belcher's club record of 17 finals this weekend, said the opening minutes would be crucial in silencing the hostile Melbourne crowd.
"Collingwood are pretty vocal, if not the most vocal crowd in Australia," he said.
O'Loughlin says early goals will put "scoreboard pressure" on the Magpies and shut down the crowd's influence.
"We know it's going to be a pro-Collingwood crowd but playing at the MCG in front of a big crowd, it's what you want to play for," Bolton said.
"And," he added, "I think it's good practice for the weeks ahead if we happen to make it though."
Along with Hall, the Swans are expected to be boosted by the return of Tadhg Kennelly from a knee injury.