Swans 13.8 (86) – 16.7 (103) Dockers

Fremantle all but destroyed Sydney’s chances of coming back into finals contention, after decimating the injury-depleted team at their home ground on Saturday night.

The Swans, who went into the match down five players, added Callum Mills and Logan McDonald to their rapidly growing injury list in a tough match that started promisingly for Sydney, but came undone after the first quarter.

Standout Dockers, Luke Jackson and Lachie Schultz ran rings around the Swans, as prominent cracks began to show in the side.

This loss now means the Swans have lost four in a row with little hope for a turn-around and may have confirmed the pre-season fear the Swans would not make the finals after losing to Geelong by a demoralising 81-points in last year’s Grand Final.

Co-captain, All Australian and 2022 Best and Fairest recipient Mills was sidelined in the first few minutes of the game due to a second-grade calf strain and will be out for four to six weeks. Goal-scorer McDonald was subbed out at the beginning of the second quarter, after limping off the field with a significant medial ankle sprain. He will miss upwards of eight weeks.

The knocks add to the ever-growing list of injuries in the Swans side, with both Paddy and Tom McCartin, Sam Reid, Dane Rampe and Joel Amartey all sidelined for the foreseeable future.

We’re not as fluent with or without the ball like we normally are.

Coach, John Longmire said: “[The Swans] have had players in and out all season, with another couple out… that’s the reality of it, we can’t really do anything about it.

“We’re not as fluent with or without the ball like we normally are.”

Longmire acknowledged his team were considerably outnumbered, a key indicator being Fremantle finishing the game with 20 centre clearances to Sydney’s nine.

However grim this losing streak may be, Longmire is no stranger to bouncing back from a slump, with his Sydney side improving from 16th in 2020 to sixth in 2021 and then third in 2022.

Young players such as Errol Gulden, could be the key to turn this momentum around. Despite the chaos of his injured side, Gulden played an incredible game. Kicking two goals and finishing the game with 39 disposals, he was everywhere on the field. That performance alone made up for a lot of his sidelined teammates.

The Dockers proved too powerful in the round nine clash, with this being their first win at the SCG since 2011. Small forward Schultz kicked the most goals of the game, kicking four in total. Jackson was not far behind kicking three of his own.

The Swans had a red-hot start to the first quarter, with Chad Warner having a 13-disposal term. Sydney had majority of the possession, with both Nick Blakey and Aaron Francis taking contested marks down back. This momentum was halted at the second quarter, with Blakey and Rowbottom both giving away 50m penalties within the span of five minutes.

Fremantle capitalised on this momentum, with Jackson powering through the corridor to slot his second goal of the afternoon; propelling the Dockers to a 13 point lead at the end of the first half.

In celebration of his 150th game, Tom Papley kicked a goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter to bring the margin back down to 10 points. But the hope for a Sydney comeback was quickly extinguished by Josh Treacy, who answered with another goal three minutes later.


Buddy Franklin was kept fairly quiet on the field, ending up with four disposals in total. He was presented with a scoring opportunity at the beginning of the third term. Instead of taking the set-shot, he chose to play on and was pinged straight away for holding the ball at the hands of Treacy.

It was moments like these, where the Swans cracked under pressure in their split-second decision making, and gave up scoring opportunities that in-turn cost them the game.

Round nine presented Sydney with an opportunity to redeem themselves after three consecutive losses, instead it has only raised some serious concerns over what changes need to be made within the side in order to restore the squad to their previous form.

Featured image courtesy of Brianna Hedges