Sydney coach John Longmire shouldn’t need an abacus, calculator or any other scoring device if the Swans beat bogey side Richmond at the SCG on Saturday.
In one of the closest finishes to a season in memory, Sydney enter the last round leading the ladder on percentage ahead of Adelaide, Geelong and Hawthorn.
The Crows and Cats, the two teams whose percentage is closest to the Swans, both play before Sydney.
Hawthorn don’t play until Sunday, but are a whopping 26 per cent behind the Swans.
Whatever happens, Longmire won’t be fretting on margins, percentages and results of other games.
“I have never focused on that,” Longmire told AAP.
“We take the view the players know what the situation is and most importantly they know the sort of footy we would like to play.”
Sydney will be seeking a sixth straight win heading into the finals.
It’s a measure of how tough they are to beat that Richmond’s three-match winning streak is the longest of any club against them, with West Coast (two) the only other club at present to have logged successive victories over the Swans.
Sydney co-captain Kieren Jack, who returns from an ankle injury, earlier this week referred to Richmond as their bogey side.
The Tigers are 12 places and 32 points below Sydney, but scored a memorable one-point win over them at the MCG back in May.
“They had a really even performance across the board, so we’ve got to make sure that we play a bit more consistently than what we did last time,” Longmire said.
Asked if Richmond’s recent record against Sydney meant they would go into Saturday’s game with confidence, Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said “to a degree”.
“They’ve been an incredible side this year and they’re playing great footy.
“We beat them earlier in the year but our side is probably a little bit different (now).”
Richmond forward Ben Griffiths, who kicked a career-best five goals in that game, won’t be playing at the SCG due to a groin injury.
A Swans-Tigers clash usually produces a compelling matchup between Richmond key defender Alex Rance and Sydney forward Lance Franklin, who was selected to play after copping a heavy knock to his hip pointer last week.
Rising Star favourite Callum Mills will miss the match with a calf problem and Dean Towers has been omitted, with Jack and young defender Harrison Marsh recalled.
Richmond will give a senior debut to Sudanese-born tall Mabior Chols, who replaces Connor Menadue.