Swan Shaw questions Sydney AFL rivalry

Rivalry, what rivalry?

Swans defender Rhyce Shaw has added spice to Saturday’s eighth Battle of the Bridge clash by insisting the rising Giants have got a long way to go make the Sydney derby a genuine rivalry.

Statistically, Shaw is spot on as so far it’s been very much a case of big brother beating up on his younger sibling.

The Swans have won six of the seven encounters, only losing the match in round one of the 2014 season.

That game was the first and so far only clash between the clubs at Spotless Stadium, where the 10th-placed Giants have won five out of six matches this season and where they meet fifth-placed Sydney on Saturday.

Sydney predictably enjoyed handsome wins in most of the early encounters, logging victory margins of 63, 94 and 129 points in three of the first four derbies.

The Giants got within 21 points at the SCG back in round three this year and would have done even better had it not been for their wayward kicking.

“They (the Sydney derbies) are getting pretty big, the Giants have certainly come a long way,” Shaw said.

“They got us last year and we were really disappointed with that, but they’ve still got a long way to go to make it a rivalry.

“We’ve got the wood on them pretty much and we’re hoping to keep it that way this week.”

Shaw, who on Thursday announced he would retire at the end of the season, wasn’t underestimating the task of toppling the Giants, as the Swans strive to win successive games for the first time in six rounds.

It will also be the final time he has a chance to get some pure sibling bragging rights over younger brother Heath, a pivotal member of the Giants’ defence.

“It (a Swans win) would be really good not only for me, but for the footy club to get two (wins) in a row and get some confidence going,” Shaw said.

“But we know we’re up against it this week. They are a really good team and have got some really good players.

“If I can get one up against him (Heath) it would be fantastic.”

Rhyce is already resigned to losing one statistical mark to his younger sibling by four years.

He has chalked up 232 senior games, with Heath only 22 behind.

“I think he’ll probably beat me in games now pretty easily, so he’s pretty stoked with that,” Rhyce said.

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