Buddy Franklin helps Sydney Swans secure victory over Carlton at the SCG
John Longmire believes Sydney’s star-studded forward line is still building towards their best after a 22-point AFL win over Carlton at the SCG, where Lance Franklin ‘felt fine’ after an injury scare.
Franklin booted three goals on Sunday, including a trademark showstopper from the cusp of the 50m arc, to help settle a pulsating and pressure-laden contest in which momentum shifted throughout.
Isaac Heeney, who was awarded the Goodes-O’Loughlin medal as best on ground, and Tom Papley also kicked three goals each as the Swans pulled ahead after three-quarter time to prevail 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78).
John Longmire believes Sydney’s star-studded forward line is still building towards their best after a 22-point AFL win over Carlton at the SCG, where Lance Franklin ‘felt fine’ after an injury scare
This month marked the first time that Franklin, Heeney, Papley and Hayden McLean played together.
‘They need to keep going. They’ll get better, they won’t get it all right,’ Longmire said.
‘There’s no secret to it. You just have to get out there and play together.
‘They work out each other’s little idiosyncrasies, how the others move and what they do at different times.
‘He (Franklin) draws the ball so much. You have to be nice and composed to not kick it to him at times … use the best option going forward.’
Franklin grimaced while grabbing his left knee early in the final quarter, having been pinned in a tackle by opponent Liam Jones.
Franklin was slow to get to his feet but remained on the ground, continuing to draw plenty of attention from the Blues’ defenders as Sydney booted 4.4 to 1.3 in a decisive fourth term.
‘He said he felt fine,’ Longmire said.
‘That (playing out the game) is a good sign.’
Franklin now has 966 career goals, with expectation building that he will soon become the sixth man in VFL/AFL history to celebrate 1000 goals.
Carlton coach David Teague praised Jones for holding his own in the key battle but admitted Heeney was best on ground.
‘He’s a very good player,’ Teague said.
Longmire agreed, also highlighting Heeney’s resilience.
‘He’s played with some terrible knocks that nobody really knows about, over the last couple of years,’ he said.
‘He’s just so hard, he competes so hard.’
Franklin and Eddie Betts, the two most prolific Indigenous players in VFL/AFL history, both produced highlight-reel moments in the Marn Grook fixture that headlined Sir Doug Nicholls round.
Carlton captain Patrick Cripps, who required treatment for a finger injury in the second quarter, threatened to drag his team to victory.
Cripps finished with 27 possessions (18 contested), six tackles, six clearances and three goals but was unable to halt the the hosts’ bursts of dominance.
‘Our second half was one of the poorest second halves we’ve had in a while,’ Teague said.
‘We need an even spread.
‘Some of our better games have been when Crippa hasn’t done as much.’