Sydney AFL veteran Ted Richards reckons his side will thrive on the big-game atmosphere when battling Port Adelaide at their thunderous home ground, but the Swans can’t afford another sluggish start.
The key defender says he will try to feed off the energy of a roaring Adelaide Oval crowd, rather than be put off by it, when he lines up against the Power on Saturday for his 200th game for the Swans.
“The fact we get to test ourselves against a good team on a big day is something we relish,” Richards said on Thursday in Sydney.
“The atmosphere that Port fans create in that stadium is one of the best. I find it incredibly exciting.
“It’s probably the loudest stadium in Australia.
Richards said the Swans took some positives from the 41-point comeback win over Essendon last weekend, but they could not wait until the final quarter to switch on against a fit and firing Port side.
“We get a bit out of the fact that we can win from that situation – but it’s not going to count for much (against Port).
“We need to start right from the start this week.”
Richards said the Power, despite a close loss to Fremantle in round one, played four quarters of intense, quality football and he anticipated more of the same on Saturday.
“I was really impressed with their ability to play almost finals-like footy in round one,” he said.
“Port, to me, look like a team that are able to play that football each week, regardless of how they went the week before.”
Sydney won both their battles against Port last season, including one at Adelaide Oval, where the Swans had not yet lost.
Richards said the Swans missed Jarrad McVeigh’s leadership against the Bombers on the weekend but should get their captain back from a calf strain if he managed to get through Thursday’s training session unscathed.