Match report: Swans still can't beat #freekickhawthorn

Well, that game sucked. It's hard thinking about positives and looking on the bright side, but let's do it for a moment.

We lost by 6 points, Franklin had probably his career worst game, we were smashed on the outside and in the air again and far too many players were down on their usual standards.

At times it looked like the Hawks would blow the game wide open, and if it wasn't for shocking goal kicking in the 3rd quarter, they may well have.

The Swans during the week omitted Robinson in place for Hayward, but were forced into two late changes before the final teams were submitted, with both Lloyd and Rohan making way for Robinson and Foote.

The game

The Swans started brightly and had had the first shot on goal through Sinclair with the first inside 50.

Unfortunately, he hit the post, but the Swans were able to lock the ball inside their half of the ground, and scored the first goal of the game through Hayward, who swooped on a spillage and nailed it from just outside the square.

The Hawks didn't have a single possession and the Swans looked on fire, but it didn't last long.

Brilliant play by Burgoyne on the back flank, followed by a lung bursting run down the wing, a collect on the forward flank and a long goal after running past a flat footed Melican, had the first goal on the board for the Hawks.

The Swans struggled to maintain control for the remainder of the quarter, with Sinclair and Franklin struggling to assert themselves on the contest, and Franklin giving away ridiculous free kicks.

The Hawks kicked the next 3 goals before the Swans responded with the last of the quarter.

Amazingly, despite dominating possessions, clearances and almost every statistic in AFL, the Hawks dominated the scoreboard convincingly.

The Swans started off the second quarter with a bang, kicking two goals through Papley and Sinclair, taking a five point lead before the Hawks responded with a goal of their own.

The Hawks kicked the last 4 goals of the quarter and went into half time with a 21 point lead, eerily similar to round 10.

Still, the Swans were on top in possessions and clearances and all that stuff, the stuff that doesn't really matter, since the Swans were over possessing the ball.

Franklin was not having a good game for the Swans, and he wasn't the only one, but his stats in particular were sore to eyes.

The Hawks turned the screws in the third quarter, but couldn't manage a goal, despite sustained forward half pressure.

Once again, the Swans had the early running, kicking the first two goals of the quarter through Hewett and Franklin, who was virtually gifted a goal after a 50m penalty.

At that point of the third quarter, the Swans were well on top, with 9 inside 50s and sustained midfield pressure.

Of course it didn't last, once the Hawks got the ball forward, the Swans for some reason just couldn't keep possession of the ball.

Some shambolic efforts from the Hawks, including two out on the full, including a Burgoyne special that hit the post half-way up, kept the Swans in the game.

At this point though, the Swans were already down Kennedy and Naismith, and were struggling in the air, convincingly beaten by the Hawk talls.

To put it into perspective, in the last 10 minutes of the quarter, the Hawks had 14 disposals in their attacking 50m, as well as 12 tackles.

The injuries kept piling up for the Swans early in the 4th quarter, with Callum Sinclair limping to the bench after rolling his ankle.

Jarrad McVeigh repaid his brain fade late in the 3rd quarter when he shoved Langford in the face, having been kissed twice on the mouth, by snapping one over Langford's head.

Papley kicked his first of the night and all of a sudden it was raptures in the stands, the Swans were back in front again, but it wasn't to be.

The Hawks fired once again and their midfield dominated, with the Swans missing Sinclair, Naismith and Kennedy.

After Papley's second goal of the match, the Hawks smashed the Swans across the ground, recording 33 disposals in their attacking half to Sydney's 1, and 15-zip inside 50s.

Of course they hit the scoreboard too, banging on three quick goals and putting themselves 12 points up with just 2 minutes left to play.

Papley gave the Swans a glimmer of hope with his third of the night, but it just wasn't to be in the end.

Medical Room

Lloyd and Rohan were late withdrawals before the game, replaced in the side by Robinson and Foote.

Sam Naismith injured his knee in the 3rd quarter and played limited game time afterwards.

Callum Sinclair rolled his ankle at the start of the 4th quarter and played limited game time afterwards.

Captain Josh Kennedy had hamstring tightness in the first half and played little game time afterwards.


Lance Franklin may find himself missing the Geelong game with a strike to Luke Hodge. A fine is the probable outcome, but you never know with the MRP lottery.

McVeigh will come under scrutiny for pushing Langford in the face late in the 3rd quarter after Langford kissed him twice.

Next up

The Swans will need to bounce back if they're going to stay in touch with the top 8, let alone the top 4.

A loss to the Cats and the Swans may well find themselves outside of the top 8 and relying on results to find their way back in.

Tippett is certain to return to the side, as well as Reid, with both Naismith and Sinclair injured.

Jordan Dawson may well play his 2nd game of the season if Kennedy is a withdrawal through injury, while Rohan and Lloyd should return to the side.

Aliir Aliir may be a chance to return as well if Franklin is suspended, while Marsh could return to the side for McVeigh.

Sydney Swans
Hawthorn Hawks

Goals: Papley 3, Hewett 2, Hayward, Sinclair, Franklin, McVeigh

Best: Parker, McVeigh, Hewett, Newman, Papley, Towers

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia

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