We let Kirk down: Swans coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We let Kirk down: Swans coach

By Justin Chadwick 26/04/2009 03:27:05 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos admits the team let down milestone man Brett Kirk in the Swans' 21-point AFL loss to Fremantle on Saturday night.

Kirk, playing in his 200th game, finished the match with 27 possessions and 12 tackles but lacked support against a Fremantle unit that finally clicked into gear following their winless start the season.

Roos said the Swans simply failed to fly the flag on their captain's special day.

"One of the major disappointments was we couldn't win for Kirky," Roos said.

"He was the one that had to put us on his shoulders again ... he was the one who had to get everyone going and rally the troops.

"I'm sure there would be some guys in the locker room that would be very disappointed with their performance in relation to the milestone.

"I thought a lot of the guys owed it to Brett, particularly in the first half, to probably fly the flag a lot better than what we did."

Roos was hopeful spearheads Barry Hall and Michael O'Loughlin would return for Sunday's crunch clash with Richmond at the SCG.

The pair were sorely missed as the Swans' struggled to fight their way back against the Dockers, who surged to a 42-point lead by half-time.

"I suppose if I had to sum it up, the forward line wasn't the reason we were behind, but probably was the reason we couldn't peg a seven-goal lead back because we just didn't have enough raw talent up there for someone to kick five or six in the second half," Roos said.

A relieved Fremantle coach Mark Harvey hoped the win would kick-start the Dockers' season.

"Mindset is extraordinary sometimes," Harvey said.

"As soon as we got six goals up there was a lot more talk and direction than there is when you're behind.

"I think when you go through a losing streak like we have sometimes there can be a reluctance to take the game on because of that reason.

"I did make the statement to not worry about the consequences, take the game on."

Gun onballer Rhys Palmer sent a scare through Fremantle's camp late in the match when he wrenched his right knee and was carried off the field in agony.

But Harvey was hopeful Palmer had suffered only minor damage, although the 20-year-old is in extreme doubt for Saturday's western derby clash with West Coast.

Roos admitted there was little his team could do to stop Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich, whose 27 touches, seven clearances, 11 inside 50s and three goals tore the game apart.

"I think it's great when you see champions bounce back and it's a credit to him," Roos said.

"At his best he's probably in the top five or six players in the competition.

"Tonight he was back to his spectacular best that he's been.

"It's been a very high standard his set for himself over a very long time."

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