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Clubs with a Bye

Tom Fullarton in action for Sydney. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney v Brisbane


Sunday, July 28, 2019
Sydney Swans (3rd) v Brisbane Lions (1st)
Blacktown International Sportspark, 10.30am


Sam Naismith returns to the field for Sydney as the Swans prepare to face the toughest challenge in the competition when they take on the undefeated Brisbane at Blacktown on Sunday morning.

The Swans, coming off a bye, hold on to the third place by four points and are within a game of second-placed Southport, making this a classic eight-point match in the context of their ladder positioning.

However, taking down the Lions is no mean feat with Brisbane flying at the top of the ladder and showing no signs of vulnerability as they charge towards creating history as the first team in the competition to go through an entire season without dropping a match.


Round 9, 2019: Brisbane 17.19 (121) d Sydney 8.2 (50) at South Pine Sports Complex
Round 5, 2019: Brisbane 14.17 (101) d Sydney 4.10 (34) at South Pine Sports Complex
Round 18, 2018: Brisbane18.8 (116) d Sydney 8.7 (55) at the SCG.


1. In positive news for Sydney, injury-plagued ruckman Sam Naismith is expected to play in the NEAFL this week, in what will be his first competitive game of footy since 2017. Naismith tore his ACL at training in March last year, and has been training solidly for the past month after overcoming some further complications with the knee. He is expected to play limited minutes against the Lions, and the club hasn’t ruled out his return to AFL level before the season is finished. 

2. Corey Lyons is in excellent form for Brisbane in the NEAFL and had another blinder last week against Gold Coast. Lyons had 43 disposals against the SUNS and is currently averaging 28.5 disposals, six marks, five inside 50s and nearly a goal per game so far in 2019. He’ll be one player the Swans need to keep an eye on this week as he pushes for an AFL debut.

3. On the other side of the ledger, Sydney’s Ryan Clarke will be key to the Swans fortunes this week should he play. Named on an extended bench for Sydney’s AFL clash with Geelong on Sunday, Clarke has been named among the Swans best every match he’s played in the NEAFL. He averages an impressive 37.8 disposals per game – the highest average by any player with six games or more. Of the six games Clarke has played in the NEAFL this year, the Swans have won five of those games. The only one they lost was against Brisbane.


Swans rookie Joel Amartey has taken a few steps forward in his development over the past month. The 18-year-old has shown great potential in the ruck and as a forward so far this year and booted two goals on the Swans’ last outing against Southport a fortnight ago to be among their best players. The former Sandringham Dragon was a competitive basketballer as a kid and will look to finish off the season strongly.


Brisbane has built up an impressive winning streak at Blacktown in recent seasons. The Lions have lost only one match at the venue from their past five games, stretching back to Round 1, 2017. They’ve also had the wood over Sydney in that time frame, too. Brisbane currently leads the win-loss count 7-3 in the past two-and-a-half seasons.


Brisbane to keep its unbeaten run intact. Lions by 25 points.


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