There’s no such thing as a grand final rematch. Just ask John Longmire.
The Sydney coach doesn’t even fancy watching a replay of Hawthorn’s 63-point grand final trouncing of the Swans last year before they meet again at the MCG on Saturday night.
“No, I have a fair idea what happened – we lost,” said Longmire on Monday.
Longmire played down hype surrounding this week’s clash, and dismissed any suggestion his players have vengeance on their minds.
“The reality is that grand final replays really don’t exist,” he said.
“What happened last year, there’s nothing we can do about it. They were too good for us last year and full credit to that football club.
“So come 2015 we’ve got to make sure we do what we need to do this week.”
The two sides have fostered a healthy rivalry throughout the past few seasons, during which time the Swans have won only three of their past 10 encounters.
The Hawks’ on-field physicality in particular has been a controversial talking point this year, and Longmire said he wasn’t anticipating Saturday’s blockbuster to be the exception to the rule.
“Am I expecting Hawthorn to be physical? Absolutely,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s any surprise to anyone. They’re a physical team, but they’re also a very highly skilled team.
“What we need to do doesn’t change as far as having to put pressure on the opposition, and we’re willing to do it obviously better than what we did last time against Hawthorn.”
The Swans won’t be sorry that suspended Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge can’t play on Saturday, the veteran still serving a three-game ban for striking North Melbourne skipper Andrew Swallow in their round-five defeat of the Kangaroos.
Hodge was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for his role in the Hawks’ emphatic grand final win, and even taunted former teammate Lance Franklin by planting a kiss on his cheek.
But vice-captain Jordan Lewis will be back, having now completed a two-match suspension for his hit on Todd Goldstein in the same match.
“He (Hodge) is a very good player,” Longmire said.
“But Jordan Lewis comes back in this week, and he’s not a bad player either.”
“And you look at blokes like Billy Hartung and players that they’ve brought in over the journey … and players they’ve added like James Frawley, who’s another quality player.
“They seem to keep adding players to the list that keeps making them better, not worse.”