Sydney’s new ruck combination of Kurt Tippett and Callum Sinclair can expect a severe test against former Swan Shane Mumford in Saturday’s first harbour city derby of the AFL season.
Mumford played 79 games for Sydney from 2010 to 2013 and was part of their 2012 premiership-winning side before moving to Greater Western Sydney.
The 29-year-old ruckman is widely considered the Giants’ most important player and underlined his value with a typically robust and physically imposing performance in the upset victory over Geelong in Canberra on Sunday.
Tippett and ex-Eagles ruckman Sinclair combined for seven goals and each grabbed seven marks in Sydney’s 60-point away win over Carlton on Sunday, as they rotated between the ruck and forward roles.
Following their 80-point opening round rout of Collingwood, it’s the first time in 29 years Sydney have started the season with two 50-point plus wins.
“Callum has fitted in really well and they’ve got a nice combo going him and `Tippo,'” Swan Harry Cunningham said upon the team’s return from Melbourne on Monday.
“But in saying that, we can’t really get complacent, they’ve got a big battle this week with Mumford.”
Cunningham emphasised Mumford was far from the only threat the Giants possessed.
“They are fierce at the contest and they always apply a lot of pressure around the footy,” Cunningham said.
“We know they’ve got some good ball users coming out of the backline as well and they’ve got some big targets to go to.
“They got some quality players all over the ground and it will be a tough test for us.”
Cunningham isn’t surprised by Lance Franklin strong start to the season, with the star forward bagging successive four-goal hauls.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Lance to be able to do that,” Cunningham said.
“He’s a quality player and has been for a long time, so we certainly didn’t expect anything less.”