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Swans AFL midfield looking for payback
Adrian Warren
14:29 AEST Wed Jul 18 2012

Sydney's in-form midfield are hungry to get on top of their St Kilda counterparts this weekend and avenge the obliteration they suffered in their previous AFL meeting.

The ladder-leading Swans have won six games in a row since their round-nine loss to the Saints at Etihad Stadium in late May.

On that day, St Kilda posted a score of 16.15, the only 100-plus point total kicked against the notoriously-miserly Swans' defence.

They set up the victory by kicking 11 goals to four in the two middle quarters.

"We got smashed, especially in that second and third quarters," Sydney midfielder Dan Hannebery told reporters on Wednesday.

"We got absolutely obliterated in the midfield and around the ground.

"They are going to be pretty confident coming up here and matching us.

"They did the last time so we've got a massive task on our hands this week.

"We've improved since then as a side, but I think this week is a good test of how far we have improved against the St Kilda midfield, because they did beat us last time.

"I think the guys are hungry to get back on top of them."

Asked what Saints had done that other teams hadn't against Sydney, Hannebery said: "Just inside, in that midfield battle, they purely and simply beat us - they were first to the ball."

The 2010 Rising Star winner, Hannebery is coming off a career-best 42 possessions in last week's flogging of West Coast.

Despite the domination of the Eagles, Hannebery said both he as an individual and the midfield as a group had areas they could improve on.

He felt he had regained fitness after a knee issue interrupted his pre-season and he suffered two shoulder dislocations late in the 2011 campaign.

"I've had two (shoulder) operations, and they say they are stronger now after those operations," Hannebery said.

"I still keep working on my strength in those areas but, so far, the shoulders have been good."