Swans plan fast start for Bulldogs

Sydney midfield dynamo Josh Kennedy says the Swans are determined not to get jumped again when they face the rising Western Bulldogs at the SCG on Saturday.

The Swans were caught cold by Essendon in the opening AFL round and by Fremantle last weekend and Kennedy believes they can’t afford another sluggish start against a speedy and ferocious Bulldogs team who toppled previously undefeated Adelaide last round.

Both teams are riding high on the ladder with 3-1 records.

“I see a really damaging team, especially across halfback,” Kennedy said at the SCG on Thursday.

“Obviously (Robert) Murphy and (Matthew) Boyd going back there as well, are really just dragging them up and their run off half back is really getting them going, so we’ll have to look at that.

“Otherwise we’ve got to try and focus on the start this week and make sure that we bring out our best from the first bounce, not giving them the head start we gave Fremantle last weekend.”

Kennedy said he had confidence in whoever was assigned to Marcus Bontempelli, could contain the young Dogs star.

“He’s taken his game to a new level in the midfield, he’s a really strong and damaging player there,” Kennedy said of Bontempelli.

“We’ll back ourselves against him. Our group, I think whoever lines up on him, we’ll have full faith that they can impact the contest.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in our midfield.”

Clearance king Kennedy expected opposing teams to adopt a similar attitude to Sydney’s own red-hot midfielder, Dan Hannebery, who is averaging 30 disposals a game.

“He works really hard and hopefully he can keep it going because he’s one of our better players at the moment,” Kennedy said.

“He’s going really well and teams are really going to have to look to him slow him I think, because he’s getting on the scoreboard as well and hurting teams that way.

“It’s good to have him up and going because he’s a real barometer for our side.”

Kennedy didn’t feel if it kept raining in Sydney, the Swans would have an advantage over the Bulldogs, who regularly play under a closed roof at Etihad Stadium.

He said that good contested footy teams like the Bulldogs usually fared well in wet conditions.

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