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Swans give thumbs-up after bruising final

Callum Mills and Dane Rampe are undeterred by the toll from Sydney’s AFL preliminary final slugfest, saying the Swans will be physically right for the grand final.

Sydney will bring a nine-game winning streak and their celebrated bloods culture to Saturday’s clash with Geelong.

But the Cats look to have an edge in fresher legs, given their preliminary final was a day earlier and they romped to a 71-point win over Brisbane.

They could then sit back and relish Sydney’s ferocious duel with Collingwood, which went down to the wire as the Swans held on by one point.

Co-captains Mills and Rampe are confident the Swans will be as ready physically as they are certain to be mentally.

“Everyone has pulled up well, which is a good sign,” Mills said.

“The best thing is now, it’s just back into a normal week.

“We’ve done this over the last 23 weeks and to have a bit of normality about it again is nice … nothing really changes.”

The major exception is ruck-forward Sam Reid, who is in significant doubt for Saturday after suffering an adductor injury against Collingwood.

He went for scans on Monday and the Swans say he will be given every chance to prove his fitness.

The weather looks like it will not sap Sydney, with a top of only 15 forecast for Saturday, and Rampe likewise said he had no concerns about the Swans being physically right.

“After a long season, it was a tough match,” he said.

“But there’s two ways you can look at it – you can think, ‘Alright, we’ve got a really good dress rehearsal’, or ‘We’ve been battered and bruised’ – that remains to be seen.

“Luckily, we’ve had a couple of weeks off prior and that helps in the long run. We’re fine.”

The Swans also will lack nothing for support, locally and in Melbourne.

Mills and Rampe, who are NSW natives, have noticed a sharp increase in support around Sydney – something that has unnerved them at times.

Mills has spoken of being cheered as he left a local cafe before a game.

“It’s a bit rattling, it’s never really happened to me,” he said.

“I didn’t know whether to give them a thumbs up.

“It was pretty cool. It’s something we’re not really used to, living up here.”

Likewise, the Melbourne fan base from their South Melbourne heritage remains strong and Rampe thinks it’s even becoming more pronounced.

“You could get a sense of it really towards the back end of last year,” Mills said.

“The support while we were in the hub down in Melbourne, it took us aback, really.

“The fans have sensed it and that’s really built momentum as well. It makes a big difference.”

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