Sydney will go into the AFL grand final still desperate to atone for their “embarrassment” at the hands of Greater Western Sydney in week one of the finals, onballer Dan Hannebery says.
The Swans booked a spot in the grand final against the Giants or the Western Bulldogs with a blistering 37-point win over Geelong on Friday night at the MCG, having dispatched Adelaide last week in a similarly brutal fashion.
Hannebery said the Swans were left seething after being bullied by crosstown rivals GWS in their qualifying final at ANZ Stadium.
“I think that really burned in us and, to be honest, it still does,” he told ABC radio’s Grandstand program on Saturday.
“We’re still atoning for that embarrassment, I suppose, as a whole group.
“That’s what really has driven us in the last two weeks and I certainly think there’s a bit that still drives us to continue our strong performance into next week.”
Speaking ahead of Saturday evening’s preliminary final between the Giants and Bulldogs at Spotless Stadium, Hannebery said an all-Sydney grand final would be great for AFL in NSW.
But the Swans didn’t care who their opponents were and would focus on maintaining the intensity they had delivered over the past fortnight.
Sydney’s All-Australian midfield trio of Hannebery, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker have received strong support in the finals from outstanding youngster Isaac Heeney, who was arguably best on ground against Geelong.
Hannebery, who tasted defeat in the 2014 grand final against Hawthorn, said the Swans’ emerging players would need to continue delivering to ensure the side’s taxing brand of high-pressure football stood up.
“It’s certainly a hard style to play week-in, week-out but that’s what we aspire to do,” he said.
“We’ve done it for a number of years and we know that’s what stacks up.”