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Sport Jack in line for return as Swans face acid test against Eagles

08:10  13 june  2018
08:10  13 june  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

Swans topple AFL ladder-leading Eagles

  Swans topple AFL ladder-leading Eagles Sydney have recorded a 15-point win over West Coast at the SCG, snapping the AFL ladder leader's 10-match winning streak.It's rare to have a finals-like atmosphere at many games in the middle of the season, but the widespread expectation on Friday night was the top-four showdown would be something special.

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The Eagles will be refreshed after a week off, compared to the Swans coming off a six-day break, but have lost key target Jack Darling, who some believe to be the best The Swans forward line has struggled at times this season but they found an even spread with 10 goalkickers against the Saints.

Return of the Jack: Kieren Jack is a chance to play this week against West Coast.© AAP Return of the Jack: Kieren Jack is a chance to play this week against West Coast. Sydney veteran Kieren Jack is in the frame to return for Friday night's blockbuster against West Coast, with the Swans adamant his hip injury is not as serious as last year when he had an extended stint on the sidelines.

Jack was rested last week but will be a likely inclusion depending on how he pulls up from the club's closed training session on Wednesday.

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The former captain played with a hip problem at the start of last season to provide experience to a Swans team in the midst of an injury crisis, but the move backfired as his form waned due to injury.

Bombers clash a tall order for West Coast as Josh Kennedy out indefinitely

  Bombers clash a tall order for West Coast as Josh Kennedy out indefinitely Eagles coach Adam Simpson on Wednesday confirmed his champion full forward would miss Thursday's Bombers clash at Optus Stadium.Eagles coach Adam Simpson on Wednesday confirmed his champion full forward would miss the Bombers clash at Optus Stadium after Kennedy sustained the injury in the 15-point loss to Sydney at the SCG last Friday.

The Saints were brushed aside in a nine-goals-to-one first quarter blitz, but the Eagles will provide a far sterner test at the SCG. It all stemmed from a scintillating first term – the Swans ’ highest return for one quarter (9.1) this season.

The ladder-leading Eagles are coming off the bye and confront the third-placed Swans . ( Jack ) Petrucelle played last week, Ryan’s hopefully available. You want to be able to test yourself and play well against good opposition.”

He was given seven weeks off to strengthen the joint, and his output improved in the second half of the season.

Swans coach John Longmire said his latest issue is due to a bump he received against Carlton a fortnight ago rather than a recurrence of his woes from last year.

"It's not as bad as that. Last year it was about his strength in that area, he's been able to get on top of that since he had that period out last year," Longmire said.

"He had a corky on the same hip last week which exaggerated the problem but it's a lot stronger than what it was last year.

"He ran Monday, [and] ran well, so that's a good sign he's in a lot better shape than what he was last year."

Had Jack played last week against the lowly Saints, he would have had only a six-day break heading into the clash with the top of the ladder Eagles.

By the numbers: The stat which proves West Coast are a serious AFL contender in 2018

  By the numbers: The stat which proves West Coast are a serious AFL contender in 2018 <p>West Coast's defeat of St Kilda at Optus Stadium on Saturday made it ten wins in a row as they continue to take the competition by storm.</p>They're only loss came against the Swans in round one - since then they have defeated defending premiers, Richmond and the likes of Geelong, Port Adelaide and both the Giants and Hawthorn away from home.

Hurn press conference 11.06.18 Eagles skipper Shannon Hurn speaks to the media about the bye week and preparations to face the Swans . Jarrod Brander and Liam Ryan are in the mix to take Jack Darling’s spot in the forward line for Friday night’s clash with Sydney, according to Shannon Hurn.

Eagles skipper Shannon Hurn speaks to the media about the bye week and preparations to face the Jarrod Brander and Liam Ryan are in the mix to take Jack Darling’s spot in the forward line for When you play football you want to be able to test yourself and play well against good opposition.

"It was important he was able to not play, it gives him the best possible chance to play this week," Longmire said. "He's not over the line yet, he's got to train but he's a chance to come back into the team."

Longmire's men have climbed to third after five straight wins - all against bottom-six clubs - but the Eagles present a stern test of the Swans' premiership credentials. West Coast is on a 10-game winning streak, having not lost since round one to the Swans.

"The confidence among the players has been strong," Longmire said. "If you're able to get over the line and win it confirms that style is still relevant and still stands up. It will be tested this week against the best team in the competition.

"Both teams go into this game with confidence and also knowledge on how strong the opposition is. That's what makes it such a big clash."

The Swans are weighing up whether to bring in a second ruck to support Callum Sinclair against the imposing Eagles pair of Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.

Forgotten defender Aliir Aliir has been floated as an option if the Swans decide they need a bigger back-up than the undersized Gary Rohan.

"You get a dominant ruckman, you win the clearances, you get ground position," Longmire said. "That's an important part of AFL football. You're able to then set up repeats [inside 50s] and start to really work the opposition over.

"We're aware of that. Our boys in the midfield have been going OK and they'll have to be going really well this week to match that."

England call up Curran, Overton for Australia one-dayers .
England have called up all-rounder Sam Curran and fast bowler Craig Overton for the final two fixtures of the five-match one-day international series against Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday. England notched an ODI world record score of 481 for six at Trent Bridge on Tuesday before bowling Australia out for 239 to win the third match and take an unassailable 3-0 lead.The squad additions come after all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes were ruled out of the series with a hamstring and knee injury respectively.

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