Swans now a conundrum after another loss
A perplexed Sydney have no idea why they went missing for two quarters as an AFL season of great promise now sits on a precipice after a third loss in four matches.
The Swans on show in a 28-point defeat by St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Saturday were cardboard cutouts of the team which won their first five games, including a demolition of flag fancies Hawthorn.
Without injured Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes, the Swans have stumbled – and it’s hard to gauge whether, or how far they may fall.
Losses to Adelaide, Richmond and now the 16.15 (111) to 12.11 (83) defeat by the Saints leave more questions than answers, though they remain well inside the top eight.
After starting well and leading by nine points at quarter-time, the Swans were simply locked down in midfield by St Kilda and starved of the ball in the second and third terms.
A late final quarter rally cut the deficit from 50 points at one stage, but Sydney coach John Longmire and his men were bewildered by what happened in the middle two quarters.
“The second quarter we looked jittery, we were fumbling the ball,” Swans midfielder Kieren Jack said.
“It’s not good enough from us.
“We couldn’t stop their momentum. That’s probably the most disappointing thing – our midfield group versus theirs, they certainly got on top and we couldn’t hold them out.”
Longmire was also struggling for immediate answers.
“We went backwards in the second and third quarter,” Longmire said.
“The first quarter we doubled their scoring shots.
“What was the difference in the first quarter and the second term?
“That’s the thing you try and put your finger on that’s difficult to do immediately after the game.”
The Swans have eight days to regroup ahead of next weekend’s clash with the Western Bulldogs at the SCG.
But they will be sweating on a possible shoulder injury to utility Alex Johnson, who left the field in the final term.
Longmire said Johnson would have scans on his injured arm.© AAP 2013
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