Dane Rampe

Dane Rampe's leadership has been critical with no Callum Mills (pictured alongside Jake Lloyd) © Joshua Davis 2024

"He's a massive competitor, a really strong leader for us on and off the field, and we loved the way he went about it on the weekend."

With one defender lost early in the Sydney Derby, the Swans looked up against it against GWS, until Dane Rampe stepped up.

Rampe, on return from a hamstring injury, looked every bit his best in defence for the Swans, with a game-high seven marks and coach John Longmire was full of praise for the former skipper.

“He’s a very good player, he wouldn’t be the only player in the competition that has that record [Sydney concede 8.5 points per game more with Rampe not in the team] that’s why they’re good players, and why they play so long and are so good,” he said.

“He’s an important player to our team, we’ve been able to win without him, and I think the evolution of the team means at some stage down the track he won’t be playing every week.

“So we need to find ways of doing that [covering for him]. But he was terrific on the weekend.

“He took an extra week, he was sort of tossing up whether to play the week before, but he got himself right, in hindsight it was the right decision, he came out and played a very good game.

“He’s a massive competitor, a really strong leader for us on and off the field, and we loved the way he went about it on the weekend.

“We go to Fremantle this week; he’ll have another big job and hopefully, he gets that done as well.”

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The Dockers have hit a rich vein of form, winning their last two matches, and Longmire expects a tough battle on Friday night.

“Freo, [have the] second best defence in the competition I think, and [they’re] the number one clearance team by a long, long way,” he said.

“They’ve been in really good form this year, they’ve been in almost every game, and they’re playing on their home deck, so it’s a tough ask.

“[It’s] a game we’re really looking forward to, getting over to Perth this week, and taking on a really good in-form Fremantle team, which they are, their midfield’s been outstanding so it’ll be a terrific battle in there.”

The match gets underway Friday May 10 at 6:30 pm local time (8:30 pm AEST) at Optus Stadium.

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