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Clubs with a Bye

Nick Foster (L) and Jake Bartholomaeus celebrate a goal. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

MATCH PREVIEW: Sydney v Sydney University


Saturday, August 31, 2019
Sydney Swans v Sydney University
GIANTS Stadium, 11:30am


It’s finally that time of the year, with the first week of finals only days away as an all-Sydney Elimination Final looms between the Swans and Students.

The Swans would have been disappointed with their finish to the home and away season, with just one win from their last five games. However, don’t be surprised to see a rampant Sydney outfit on Saturday after they pushed the undefeated Brisbane Lions all the way to midway through the last quarter last week.

On the contrary, Sydney University finished the home and away season with four wins from the last five games. The Students would have been disappointed with their big loss to Southport last week, and will need to respond if they want to be part of some Week 2 finals action.


Round 6, 2019: Sydney Swans 17.14 (116) defeated Sydney University 14.10 (94) at Henson Park.
Round 9, 2018: Sydney Swans 14.14.98 defeated Sydney University 7.5.47 at the SCG.
Round 13, 2017: Sydney Swans 15.16.106 defeated Sydney University 9.10.64 at the SCG.


1. Sydney University midfielder Jake Bartholomaeus was the crowned the 2019 NEAFL MVP on Sunday night, polling 73 votes and holding out the likes of Angus Baker, Matt Payne and Abe Ankers. Bartholomaeus averaged 27 disposals and six clearances per game through the home-and-away season and will need to bring his best against Sydney on Saturday in his first appearance as an MVP winner.

2. These two sides have only had one previous meeting this year and that was way back in Round 6. The Swans ran away with the chocolates that day after dominant displays in the first and third quarters. Sydney University coach Tom Morrison has been looking for consistency from his side all year and they will need to produce a four-quarter effort against a skilful young Swans side.

3. Despite both these sides having plenty of experience in NEAFL finals, they also represent the future of their clubs this time around. Sydney’s side is packed with young and emerging talent with the likes of James Bell, Joel Amartey, Cody Hirst, Sam Wicks, Zac Foot, and Justin McInerney in their first and second years on the list. Meanwhile, the Students have played 16 debutants this year and have performed brilliantly to earn the club’s fifth consecutive finals appearance. It will be exciting to see which young players step up on the big stage.


Former Sydney Swans Academy member Josh Stern will be one to provide some X-factor in the Students forward half this week. Stern has kicked 35 goals for the year from his 18 matches, highlighted by a six-goal effort against Aspley in Round 17.


Both sides were significantly down on the number of tackles laid in their last match of the home-and-away season. The Swans were ranked No.1 for tackles laid in 2019, averaging 71 a game, but only produced 56 against Brisbane. Meanwhile, Sydney University averaged 63 tackles per game and only laid 37 last week against Southport.


Swans by 10 points.

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