The Sydney Swans are pledging to carry their ruthless edge into the AFL playoffs as they look to emerge from the pack and secure a home final.
Currently third with four regular-season games to play, the Swans are locked in a seven-way battle for the all-important second spot behind runaway leaders Hawthorn.
Sunday’s 90-point drubbing of Fremantle pulled Sydney to within striking distance of second-placed GWS and veteran midfielder Jarrad McVeigh admits playing for percentages is crucial in the run to the finals.
“You have to finish games off,” McVeigh said on Tuesday.
“You know deep down each goal is pretty critical but we haven’t spoken about it.
“It’s more about the process of playing the game and the rest of that stuff will follow.”
Conceding late goals even in a big win could be the difference between hosting a home final in the first week in September or having to travel.
Or worse still, slipping out of the top four as four measly competition points separate the Giants and eighth-placed North Melbourne.
“We speak every week of trying to be a ruthless team and, when you are in front, to really put the foot down,” McVeigh said.
“Nothing changed on the weekend. It was just getting that process right throughout the whole game because those are the things you need to get in place for the back end of the year – our four-quarter effort.
“I think that was our best four-quarter effort for the year.”
McVeigh also admitted it was impossible not to think about the prospect of an all-Sydney showdown in September, possibly even an historic grand final between the Swans and Giants.
“It’s very exciting,” he said.
“Both teams will play finals. Who knows where we’ll end up and we may meet each other at the back end of the year.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it but both teams are playing well and looking forward to setting ourselves up for September.”
First and foremost, the Swans are focusing on Saturday’s home clash with Port Adelaide, who may be out of finals contention but certainly not form after romping to their own 94-point rout of the Lions in Brisbane.
“They played really well at the weekend and we know their best is very, very good,” McVeigh said.