Fyfe renews rivalry with Swans
Fyfe renews rivalry with Swans

Fremantle star Nat Fyfe has enjoyed personal success against most teams in the competition, but Saturday's qualifying final against Sydney will give the midfielder an opportunity to extend his long love affair with playing the Swans.

The Dockers onballer has faced the Swans seven times in his five years in the AFL for three wins, three losses and a draw.

While the result hasn't always gone his side's way, there is little argument that Fyfe has consistently found his best form in those encounters.

The 22-year-old polled Brownlow Medal votes in four of his five regular season games against the Swans before this season.

A 32-disposal effort in a 17-point loss at the SCG in round five this year could see him add to that tally again when this season's votes are read out later this month.

Fyfe's average of 25 disposals against the Swans is bettered statistically by his records against North Melbourne, Gold Coast and Essendon, but his clearance, contested possession and contested mark averages are all career-bests.

His breakout game also came against the Swans in his debut 2010 season, with his 23-dipsosal display enough to earn him a Rising Star nomination.

The Dockers are unlikely to recognise Fyfe's success against Sydney in the lead-up to Saturday's encounter, but it's an issue the Swans are clearly aware of.

Speaking on Tuesday, Swans co-captain Kieren Jack said his side's ability to limit Fyfe's impact on Saturday would go a long way towards deciding the outcome of the game.

"He's probably their best onballer and he has the ability to go forward and kick goals," he said.

"He's a unique player. He's tall, he can overhead mark.

"We'll just look to our inside boys to put the pressure on and then try to catch them on the outside and make sure he doesn't do too much damage."

Fyfe has enjoyed his best year in the AFL and looks all but certain to be recognised with his first All Australian jumper after being controversially overlooked last season.

The Lake Grace junior was also named in the 40-man squad last season but was not in the final team despite winning Freo's best and fairest, leading them to a maiden grand final appearance and finishing in the top ten of the Brownlow Medal tally.

After two weeks on the sidelines, teammate Tendai Mzungu said Fyfe will be ready to explode once the ball is bounced at ANZ Stadium.

"He's a super player and we know what he brings on game day," Mzungu said.

"I'm sure he's ready to go, he's been hungry to be back out there with the boys.

"We expect a really strong performance from Nat."

The West Australian

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