Swans overcome loss of Sinclair to beat Suns

June 29, 2019 7:50 pm in by

SYDNEY has clambered to 11th spot on the AFL ladder, overcoming a shoulder injury to Callum Sinclair and Lance Franklin’s absence to beat Gold Coast by 42 points in a bruising battle at the SCG.

The Swans’ first goal in Saturday’s low-scoring scrap didn’t come until the 15th minute but they showed enough desperation, led by co-captains Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker in the middle, and enough adaptability, via Aliir Aliir, to triumph easily after a slow start.

The hosts busted the turnover-laden contest open with four goals to one in the third term, eventually prevailing 14.9 (93) to 7.9 (51).

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Sinclair appeared to dislocate his shoulder in the opening minute of the game while being tackled to the ground by Will Brodie.

The resilient ruckman returned to the field late in the first quarter but trudged off in the arms of trainers at quarter-time, having seemingly dislocated the same shoulder again, and played no further part in the match.

It means mid-year draftee Michael Knoll will likely make his AFL debut next week, when the Swans’ push for an unlikely finals spot continues against Essendon at the MCG.

But at the SCG, it meant chaos in the coaches’ box, where John Longmire was forced to reshuffle his magnets.

Aliir was shifted from defence into the middle, where he was predictably smashed in ruck contests by Suns skipper Jarrod Witts (55 hitouts) but booted a goal and helped the Swans to shift momentum.

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Sam Reid, one of five Swans forwards to boot two goals, also spent a lot of time in the ruck.

Returning young gun Tom McCartin, who Longmire had backed to fill the void left by hamstrung superstar Franklin’s enforced omission, was redeployed as a backman and did well to cover Aliir’s absence.

Instead, Reid, Nick Blakey, Tom Papley, Ben Ronke and Isaac Heeney combined for 10 goals as a delighted Franklin watched on from the box.

George Hewett, Jordan Dawson and Zak Jones were all influential for the hosts in an at-times spiteful affair.

The head and ribs of Blakey, who last week became the Swans’ first Rising Star nominee of 2019, were crunched by Witts in a brutal first-quarter marking contest that the match review officer would be likely scrutinise.

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Several Swans remonstrated with Witts after he floored the 19-year-old, who regained composure and kicked the subsequent goal.

Colin O’Riordan copped an accidental elbow to the jaw from David Swallow late in the fourth quarter but the Irishman returned to the park.

© AAP 2019

SYDNEY 2.2 6.3 10.6 14.9 (93)

GOLD COAST 2.3 5.5 6.7 7.9 (51)

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Goals: Sydney: B Ronke 2 I Heeney 2 N Blakey 2 S Reid 2 T Papley 2 A Aliir J Kennedy W Hayward Z Jones. Gold Coast: D MacPherson 2 A Miles A Sexton B Scheer P Wright S Day.

Best: Sydney: J Kennedy L Parker G Hewett J Dawson Z Jones I Heeney. Gold Coast: D MacPherson A Miles W Brodie B Fiorini D Swallow.

Umpires: Simon Meredith, Robert Findlay, Cameron Dore.

Official Crowd: 26,194 at SCG.