SYDNEY Swans defender Dane Rampe says he's used last year's embarrassing Grand Final loss to Hawthorn as personal motivation to get back to the big day in 2015.
This week the Swans' players, as well as coach John Longmire, have repeatedly hosed down the hype surrounding Saturday night’s clash with the Hawks at the MCG.
But in an exclusive interview with AFL.com.au, Rampe revealed that while the team moved on quickly from the 63-point hammering, his own poor performance on the day has driven him for months.
The running defender had just eight possessions in the 2014 season decider, and struggled to contain Hawks' star Jack Gunston under the avalanche of pressure from the winners.
"It’s probably more an individual thing rather than a team thing, there's nothing really been spoken about the rematch or what team it is," Rampe said.
"It's more something you reflect on over the off-season and it does give you extra motivation what happened on Grand Final day."
"It just made me realise how much I want to win one, I guess.
"You can always learn from things like that, there's no point sweeping it under the carpet.
"We've looked at it, we've reviewed it, and come up with areas we need to improve on, not only as a team but individually as well.
"We've got our plans set in place and we're implementing things that aren't going to happen overnight, but will hopefully show some real value at the back end of the year."
The Swans’ backline has struggled for consistency this season, despite containing plenty of experienced players like Ted Richards, Heath Grundy and Rhyce Shaw.
Rampe admits the defenders have discussed the need to get their season back on track, and as a group, they see the challenge of taking on the Hawks as the perfect place to start.
"The back six in particular have had some lapses in games which we're not very happy with, so this is probably the best test we've had this year," Rampe said.
"We've been at times slack this year, giving up easy goals which we pride ourselves on not doing, so hopefully we can turn that around."
Hawthorn's vast array of forward talent is enough to make any team in the competition sweat, and Rampe believes the reigning premiers have the best mix in the league.
In Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli, Luke Bruest, Gunston and Paul Puopolo, the Hawks have the ability to create major headaches for opposition sides both in the air and at ground level.
"It is bloody tough. We were chatting about it earlier this week and it's games like this that you play for. We really do like coming up against the best teams," Rampe said.
"They're so versatile – not only do they the marking power up forward, they're also bloody good at ground level as well."