Gold Coast upset Swans in front of 2012 premiers
The return of Adam Goodes and Sydney’s other 2012 premiership heroes to the SCG on Saturday was unable to inspire the Swans to victory against an unfancied Gold Coast team.
The 14-point loss was the Swans’ second in succession and their third of the season, hurting Sydney’s chances of finishing in the top four and gaining a finals double chance.
It was the second time the Swans have lost to a team outside the final eight this season, giving the Suns only their third victory of 2022.
The atmosphere was vastly different before the match when Goodes, rarely seen at an AFL game since being booed out of the competition in 2015, clearly enjoyed a lap of honour with his former teammates.
“It’s a bit blurry to be honest,” Goodes said of the 2012 premiership, in which he played a starring role with a significant knee injury. “It was great reliving it with the boys last night and seeing the fans who were there 10 years ago.”
Current coach John Longmire, also at the helm of the premiership team, was delighted to see Goodes back at the club.
Adam Goodes and Nic Malceski at the SCG on Saturday.Credit:Phil Hillyard
“It was terrific,” Longmire said. “Obviously it means a lot to him to be around his teammates from that period so it was great to see him at the game.
“It was great to see him with his mates, it’s as simple as that.”
On Saturday’s form the current Swans have a long way to go before matching the deeds of a decade ago.
The SCG clearly holds no concerns for the Suns, who have now won three of their last four matches at the ground.
The Suns have now won three of their last four clashes at the SCG.Credit:Getty
It was just as well that key defender Paddy McCartin was recalled by the Swans after missing a week with concussion protocols.
The domination of the Suns put the Swans’ defence under constant pressure.
It was built on the back of Suns midfielders David Swallow, Brandon Ellis and Brayden Fiorini.
Despite going into the match sitting fifth with just two losses from seven matches the Swans have made an art form of slow starts.
Lance Franklin kicked Sydney’s first major of the day.Credit:Getty
Just once this season have they led early in a match, when they were in charge against struggling West Coast from start to finish.
And just twice have they led at quarter-time, with Geelong still kicking the first two goals of their round two game.
“We’ve spoken about it. We’re trying to look at things we do in the lead-up,” Longmire said. “I don’t know whether it’s on the back of the six-day breaks? We’ve had a numerous amount of those.
“We look at what we do training-wise during the week. It’s not an excuse but do we get that right?”
The trend of sluggish starts was on full display again on Saturday as the Suns had the first four scoring shots but failed to make the most of their opportunities, kicking 1.3.
The Swans’ first score came after 11 minutes when Lance Franklin marked and goaled but it was against the run of play.
It was his only goal as he was well held by Sam Collins, who Suns coach Stuart Dew described as a potential All-Australian.
Longmire was unhappy with the Swans’ lack of discipline giving away free kicks and 50-metre penalties, with Franklin the worst offender.
“Once you give away one or two free kicks you’ve got to be mindful. You can’t give away five,” Longmire said.
The crowd found rare voice when Chad Warner marked and goaled and found even greater volume when Logan McDonald, who had been quiet after also returning from concussion protocols, marked a short time later to kick a wonderful goal from a difficult angle that levelled the scores going into three-quarter time.
That’s as close as the Swans came to the Suns.
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