Swans to up pressure in Demons AFL clash

Sydney have vowed to turn the pressure back on against high-scoring Melbourne, after their urgency had fallen away during their round-12 AFL loss to Greater Western Sydney.

When the third-placed Swans host the Demons this Sunday at the SCG, last weekend’s 42-point loss to the Giants will be at the front of their minds.

In particular, veteran defender Heath Grundy wasn’t happy to recall the way Leon Cameron’s in-form side backed the Swans into a corner.

“They put pressure on us – which is something we like to do to other teams – and they did that really well,” Grundy said.

“We lacked pressure, we lacked a bit of run and our ball use wasn’t great.

“If we can get back to that this week, that’ll hold us in good stead.”

The Swans’ defence will have their work cut out against big forwards Jesse Hogan and Chris Dawes, especially after Jeremy Laidler’s late withdrawal on Friday with a knee injury and Ted Richards’ possible return via the NEAFL.

Coach John Longmire’s side also suffered another major blow up front on Friday, with star ruckman-forward Kurt Tippett sidelined for eight weeks after undergoing hamstring surgery.

Grundy warned the Swans would need their high-pressure game against an aggressive Demons outfit boasting the competition’s fifth-highest points tally, despite sitting outside the top eight.

“They’re not holding themselves up at all,” Grundy said.

“They’re definitely attacking when they get the opportunity to go forward – and pretty directly to goal.

“So we’ll have to be on our game with that pressure.”

Sunday’s clash – the Demons’ first visit to the SCG in more than four years – will also mark Grundy’s 200-match milestone.

It’s a “proud moment” that, in a coincidental twist, will be played out against the 30-year-old’s former Swans mentor and now Demons coach Paul Roos.

Grundy credited Roos for kick-starting his senior career, in 2005 elevating the then-youngster from the Swans’ rookie list and shifting him from the forward line into defence, where he prospered.

“I missed two drafts and got rookied up here,” Grundy said.

“Roosy gave me the opportunity to come to an AFL club and try and get into the team.

“I’m grateful for that, definitely.

“He gave me an opportunity to play and stuck with me.

“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t really be here.”

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