Talking points: Round 8, 2018

We take a look at some of the talking points from the Swans’ Round 8 win against the Hawks at the MCG on Friday night.

1: Sanity prevails with the MRO
Luke Parker collected Jarman Impey late in the fourth quarter with a high bump to the head when both players were competing for the ball. Jarman Impey lead with his head and as Parker lowered and turned his body to collect the ball, Impey paddled it away from him.

Michael Christian, the MRO, did not charge Luke Parker for the contact, declaring that he had no other realistic choice to compete for the ball. In his favour was Jarman Impey returning to the field minutes later, after having the cut to his head attended to and no concussion recorded.

2: Nothing Ronke with this rookie
The Swans have been without their superstar forward Lance Franklin for three weeks. In that time they've steamrolled past Geelong and the Hawks, kicking 7.4 and 5.0 in the last quarters of their matches, while falling just short against the Roos in a torrid affair at the SCG in Round 7.

Ben Ronke booted 7 goals and laid 10 tackles in a best on ground performance, will pick up the 10 coaches votes, 3 Brownlow votes and has set an AFL record. It was one of the all-time best small forward performances, and deserves all the plaudits coming his way. Here's hoping the 20-year-old rookie's contract is upgraded in the next week.

3: The defence keeps on getting the job done
The Swans made a brave call last Thursday at the selection table, when they dropped Harry Marsh and didn't bring in another tall. Instead, they went with Tom McCartin as their full forward in his debut match, while Grundy and Rampe were the tall defenders for the Swans.

Despite their lack of defensive height, the Swans thwarted attack after attack in the first and third quarters, refusing the crumble under the Hawks relentless forward-half pressure, finishing the match with a dominant 63 inside 50s to 39. Still, the Swans conceded just 10 goals and 9 marks inside 50.

4: Clarko dummy spat taken straight from the Scott twins book of deflection
Clarkson after the match could barely contain himself in his press conference. Refusing to congratulate the Swans on their come-from-behind win, or even join the two teams after the final siren for the Beyond Blue presentation, he ranted about the Swans' forwards ability to get away with 'bloody murder'.

Ironically, it's the Hawks that have more than enjoyed an 'unfair' advantage in free kick counts and interpretations in recent times, with neither team favoured on Friday night.

Perhaps his sour vitriol was directed at 20-year-old Ben Ronke's superb tackling performance, dragging veteran Shaun Burgoyne to the ground for his fourth goal in the first quarter.

5: Swans home away from home
The Swans are four-zip on the road this year and have lost just two away games since Round 7, 2017. They've beaten Hawthorn, Geelong twice at Skilled Stadium, Adelaide, Richmond, GWS, North Melbourne, the Bulldogs, and are the only team this year to beat the Eagles.

In that run, they're four-from-four at Etihad and three-from-five at the MCG, with two wins at Skilled Stadium, one at Adelaide Oval, Perth Stadium and Sydney Showgrounds.

6: Where there's a Will, there's a way
Will Hayward has been the revelation of the season for the Swans, leading the forward line brilliantly in Franklin's absence. He's the second highest goal kicker for the Swans, has kicked nine goals in the last three rounds - three in each game, and showed leadership that belied his youth when directing Luke Parker to the middle of the ground in the middle of his goal celebration, late in the game against Hawthorn.

The 19-year-old, taken in the 2016 draft with the Swans second pick at 21, in just his 25th game, is equal 17th this season for goals kicked and has already booted 33 in his career. He's quickly becoming a key player for the Swans.

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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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