23/04/2024
Swans leave the field after their loss

Credit: Sydney Swans AFL

The Sydney Swans faced a long injury list coming into the weekend. They come out counting the cost of a 40-point loss to the Gold Coast Suns.

The Sydney Swans had a tough loss to the Gold Coast Suns, going down by 40 points at Metricon Stadium.

While there was criticism that the Swans had rung the changes during the week, coach John Longmire pointed out that there was effectively only one discretionary change.

Injuries last week to Tom Hickey (knee), Lance Franklin (knee) and Tom McCartin (hamstring) prevented them from being selected this week.

Longmire noted that Dylan Stephens, the medical sub against GWS Giants last week needed a run after only playing 10 minutes last round.

Logan McDonald played a half game in the VFL to rest, and Braeden Campbell played almost a full game as the medical sub this week.

As undermanned as the Swans were coming into the round, they will leave having had added further to their growing injury list, with George Hewett (concussion) leaving the game early, and Nick Blakey (corked thigh), Kaiden Brand (ankle) and Tom Papley (ankle) all playing out the game under some duress.

Longmire defended the decision to keep Blakey on the field after a heavy collision early on.

“We had a few that were sore, particularly in our front half,” he said.

“When we got into that situation, we tried to keep Nick [Blakey] out there, because there were a couple of others in our front half that were sore.

“Sometimes you just have to manufacture that to make sure you get your rotations, and try and make do with what you’ve got at the time.”

The Swans were beaten early in the contest, with the Suns, and particularly Touk Miller, dominating contested possession and ball movement early.

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Longmire was complimentary of the young Suns.

“Their pressure and intensity was superb all day, and their execution with ball in hand was on two different levels [to the Swans].” he said.

“[It was] on the back of some terrible turnovers, but their efficiency compared to ours was on two different levels.”

Longmire bemoaned that the Swans did not compete the same way.

“We didn’t apply that same sort of pressure to them when they had the ball, and therefore they were able to execute a lot better,” he said.

He also noted that the combination of competing hard at the contest and applying pressure is often linked to ball skills.

“Its off the back of hardness and competing, its always off the back of hardness and competing,” Longmire said.

“If you look at the start of the year, it was off the back of hardness and competing.

“If you’re hard and you compete hard, your skills come off the back of that, and that always has been the case and it always will be the case.

“It’s hand in hand (both hardness and ball use). If you’re nice and hard, you get the hard ride and you hit your targets, it generally goes hand in hand.”

Longmire said that the Swans, like every other week, would take what they needed to out of the game and move on to preparing for Geelong next week.

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