Lions ‘confident’ of busting 10-year Sydney hoodoo
SYDNEY fans, beware - Daniel Rich is hitting his straps.
As the only surviving member of Brisbane's 2009 finals squad, Rich's leadership alongside skipper Dayne Zorko and Luke Hodge is invaluable to the Lions.
But it's the West Australian's recent form that should have the Red V on red alert.
Rich shows no signs of the ankle injury that hampered his 2018 season and ranks among the most effective ball users in this year's competition after six rounds.
The veteran leads his club for average metres gained (532.8) and effective kicks (16.7) with superstar Lachie Neale the only Lion with more disposals and superior efficiency with ball in hand.
If Rich can maintain his dominance across the halfback line, Brisbane (4-2) will be short odds to end their 10-year losing streak against the vulnerable Swans (1-5).
Sydney has won the past 11 outings between the two clubs and while Rich downplayed suggestions the Swans would be easybeats, he said the Lions would take confidence into Saturday's showdown.
"They've obviously only won one game for the year but we know every time we play the Swans, we're going to get a tough game.
"You've got to respect your opposition but if you're going into games with fear and being on the back foot, you're naturally going to play a bit that way, so you've got to go in with confidence."
Rich will continue to shoulder much of Brisbane's defensive duties after Marcus Adams underwent arthroscopic surgery on Monday.
The former Bulldog has been troubled with knee complaints and Lions football manager David Noble is confident the operation will allow Adams to return midway through this season.
"Marcus had been close to returning the past few weeks, however there is a slight impingement issue in his knee that is restricting him getting back to 100 per cent.
"He has completed 90 per cent of his rehab program, predominantly straight-line work and the issue is when we have increased his agility work.
"(The) operation should alleviate that, and we look forward to seeing him out on the field around the bye," Noble said.
In a further boost to Brisbane's hopes, star Sydney forward Lance Franklin won't play their Round 7 clash due to ongoing injury complaints.
Franklin was a late withdrawal from last week's Sydney derby against GWS after straining his hamstring at training before the match.
"He will miss another week. We're pretty confident he will be available next week," Longmire said on Tuesday.
"We scanned him on Friday morning and there was a slight strain there and we looked at that and talked about it last week and then talked about it again this week.
"A limited pre-season, age and all those things come into it and we decided not to take the risk."