Swans ponder defence options vs Hawthorn - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans ponder defence options vs Hawthorn

Adrian Warren 16/05/2011 07:15:40 PM Comments (0)

Sydney AFL coach John Longmire may return back-up ruckman Lewis Roberts-Thomson to defence to help quell Hawthorn's formidable key forward duo of Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead at the SCG on Sunday.

Primarily a key defender, Roberts-Thomson was used almost exclusively as cover for Sydney's main ruckman Shane Mumford in last Saturday's 62-point demolition of Port Adelaide.

Heath Grundy and Ted Richards have performed well in the key defensive posts while Roberts-Thomson spent 10 months recovering from hamstring problems before returning last weekend.

"We were actually pretty happy with the way Lewi went about his ruckwork at the weekend, his second and third efforts were pretty good and his ruckwork was okay," Longmire said.

"We get down to 'do we need him (Roberts-Thomson) in the ruck or do we need him down back against those two power forwards' (Franklin and Roughead).

"Ted Richards and Heath Grundy have done a really good job for us all year, so we've got a couple of tall defenders down there."

Longmire said there was also a possibility Mark Seaby could be recalled.

Adding a twist to the ruck situation was an injury to Hawks big man David Hale, which forced Roughead to do some ruckwork against St Kilda on Sunday.

Roughead could also spend some time in the ruck on Sunday but Longmire was loath to finalise his line-up at this stage of the week.

Longmire reported no injury worries from the weekend, with speedster Lewis Jetta recovering from a sore knee.

The Sydney coach said Nick Malceski was a chance of selection this week after playing 70 minutes in the reserves in his first hitout just over 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on a knee.

"His 70 minutes on the weekend was as good a 70 minutes as I've seen for a while and he's a chance (of playing against Hawthorn)," Longmire said.

"But we need to make sure we make a smart decision and not just a decision based on what he can give us this week."

If Malceski doesn't break back into the senior side, he will have the week off as Sydney's reserves have a bye.

Just two points separate fifth-placed Hawthorn from Sydney, who are sixth.

"Buddy Franklin having 10 shots at goal (against St Kilda) is always a concern when you are playing him the next week," Longmire said.

After this weekend, Sydney will have played five of the other top seven teams on the ladder.

Longmire said it normally took nine or 10 rounds for the competition to sort itself out, but was pleased Sydney had been competitive in all their games so far.

"It's starting to pan out that Essendon and West Coast have improved dramatically and to have two wins against them is fairly important when you look back on it," Longmire said.

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