MELBOURNE defender Tom McDonald realises the job of shutting down a "lethal" Lance Franklin rests squarely on his shoulders on Saturday night.

Franklin is starting to hit his straps at his new club, coming off a four-goal haul against Fremantle last week. At the MCG, he will look to feast on the 17th-placed Demons.

"Buddy's a really good athlete," McDonald told

"It's not just when the ball's in the air, but as soon as it hits the deck he's so lethal.

"If you make a spoil, you can't be happy with yourself and think the play's over because he's like a 160cm midfielder."

Despite a slow start to the year, the Swans are starting to find some form, and some wins, as they build on their chemistry.

The Swans are a powerful and successful club but once upon a time they were positioned in a similar spot as the Demons, with aspirations to reach the top, but not really knowing how to go about it.

Then along came Paul Roos.

Roos had a central role in turning the Swans into one of the League's modern day powerhouses, something he has been charged with in his coaching stint at Melbourne.

Roos coached the Swans in 202 games, including the drought-breaking 2005 premiership victory, and now he faces a similar turnaround task at Melbourne.

The education process is something he has preached since arriving at the Demons in October and it's why Roos took the whole playing list to the Geelong-Hawthorn showdown at the MCG on Easter Monday.

McDonald and his backline teammates sat together and were given the task of watching how both the Cats and Hawks' defenders handled the different situations thrust upon them.

"It was a bit about learning and what can be if you put the work in, and this is where we want to get to in the near future," McDonald said.

"As a backline, we looked at their distancing and looking at when they dropped a player back in front of their key forwards," McDonald said.

"With Hawthorn, it was about how they managed without any true key defenders, apart from (Josh) Gibson.

"But it obviously came a bit unstuck in the last quarter when [Geelong forward] (Tom) Hawkins started to dominate."

When McDonald is standing next to Franklin he will hope he can borrow aspects of Harry Taylor's game or how Josh Gibson comes over the top to kill the contest.

But the Demons defender is determined to build his own legacy.

"We looked at the two backlines and how they worked to their own strengths and weaknesses and how we can pick up some ideas that might work for us in the future. It was very interesting, actually," he said.

"We want to take some aspects about how they play and things they do, but again we're our own team and we can't be exactly the same as them."