Longmire: It was a terrific win, one the best ones I can remember

Following Sydney's second consecutive 5-point thriller, Swans coach John Longmire was understandably delighted with his young chargers.

Longmire was quick to point the effort his side put in for all four quarters, especially to grind out a win against a good quality side.

"It was one of the really good wins, that I can remember, it was just a fantastic effort," Longmire said.

"We had 18 players who hadn't played 100 games out there tonight, so it was just a good effort by the blokes that had the experience, and the younger boys coming through.

"We're really confident in that younger group, and they're able to withstand a hot game, at a ground that the opposition had a lot of experience at, and have a good record at.

Going into the match with forward Lance Franklin still missing with a hamstring strain, the Swans lost co-captain Josh Kennedy before the first bounce, to an existing quad injury.

It wasn't long before the Swans' depth would be challenged, with Zak Jones suffering a hamstring strain early in the second quarter, and midfielder Isaac Heeney undergoing a concussion test at the third quarter break.

Despite the odds, the Swans kicked the first goal of the last quarter, fortuitously through a debatable free kick, to extend their lead to a game-high 33-points.

From then, the lack of rotation for a side fielding 11 players with less than 50 games experience, 18 players with less than 100 games, and an average of 53 games experience per player, was telling.

"You lose some of your senior players that we had, it's a lot of experience, and we're able to still turn up and play like and scrap to the end and get some reward for it," Longmire said.

"To be able to win that one, and another like it last week, we still didn't get everything right, but the young boys had a real crack, and the blokes that had played a bit of footy lead from the front.

"We lost Zak Jones really early in the second quarter, so we were one down, and we lost Isaac for 15 minutes, and with the younger boys having a real crack, it was hard to keep that up in the last 15 minutes."

North Melbourne, lead by captain Jack Ziebell, dominated the midfield contests for the last 25 minutes.

The Swans youngsters somehow found a way to repel wave after wave, astonishingly giving up just one one-on-one contest in the forward line throughout the match, with Jordan Dawson and Aliir Aliir intercepting everything in the air.

Dawson's telling contribution in the last quarter, including two intercept marks, was not lost on Longmire.

"Jordan Dawson had a couple of big plays and he was able to stand up when we needed him to," Longmire said.

"They're a young group our boys, the other team were going to get their run on, and there were some experienced players getting the ball and putting it inside 50, to withstand that was sensational."

While the youngsters in defence - lead by co-captain Dane Rampe - kept the North Melbourne attacks at bay, it was forward Tom Papley doing the damage at the other end.

He kicked two goals in the second quarter, including a peach from the boundary that's sure to get the clubs' nod for goal of the week.

His fourth and final goal extended the Swans lead to 33-points, which was barely enough for the undermanned Swans to hang on to.

Longmire praised his forward's efforts, but lamented the number of times they hit the post.

"He's able to kick goals for us in the front half, and hit the scoreboard in that young forward line that we've got up there, which was so important," Longmire said.

"We hit the post probably 4 or 5 times, which would have been nice to have a couple of those, it would have given us more of a buffer."

Longmire emphasised Sydney would not "get it right all the time", as its playing stocks transitioned.

"They're not going to get everything right every week, we've got to be mindful of that, but if they play with that sort of spirit, it will take them a long way," Longmire said.

"There's a group of them coming through that we're really happy with, but they'll be learning on the job, and if you've got blokes like Rampe and Parker leading the way, they'll play the right way, which is what it's all about."

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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 https://theswansblog.com

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