Swans need to show fight: Longmire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans need to show fight: Longmire

By Sam Lienert 14/08/2011 07:43:42 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire admits his Swans looked anything but AFL finals contenders as they suffered a shock 43-point drubbing from Richmond at the MCG on Sunday.

But the same could be said of the pack of sides challenging for eighth spot.

The 14.15 (99) to 7.14 (56) defeat was Sydney's sixth loss in eight games.

That upset was almost followed by the shock result of the season, Adelaide giving second-placed Geelong a huge scare before falling 14.12 (96) to 12.13 (85) at AAMI Stadium.

It gave Crows caretaker coach Mark Bickley his first defeat, but will only enhance his claims on the job, after the Cats won by a combined total of 336 points against Melbourne and Gold Coast in the previous two rounds.

While Geelong's top-two spot is secure the Swans' hold on eighth is in jeopardy, particularly with challenging clashes against St Kilda at ANZ Stadium and the Cats at Skilled Stadium coming, before an easier last-round meeting with Brisbane.

"We all knew going into today's game what was on the line and it was very clear, but if you looked at the two teams you would have thought Richmond were playing for a spot in the finals, not us," a disappointed Longmire said.

He said next Saturday night's clash with the Saints was now vital, both because of Sydney's precarious ladder position and to atone for the poor effort and skill level displayed against Richmond.

"It was a big game today and we didn't respond," Longmire said.

"We've got to respond this week against the Saints ... the stakes are very high."

Whichever side falls into eighth spot they loom as elimination final cannon fodder on current form.

Fremantle are ninth, two points behind the Swans, but have lost their past four matches, including Saturday's 30-point home loss to Carlton.

North Melbourne are 10th, a further four points back, but have lost four of their past six.

Amazingly, 11th-placed Melbourne, two wins and a significant percentage gap behind Sydney, remain in the hunt, despite losing their past four matches by a cumulative 364 points.

The Demons face lower-ranked Richmond, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide in the run home and might sneak into the eight if they win all three.

Melbourne at least showed some fight in falling 16.14 (110) to 9.8 (62) to West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Eagles have won nine of their past 10 games and, if they can down Essendon in Perth next Saturday, they need only to beat Brisbane and Adelaide in the final two rounds to guarantee a top-four berth.

Collingwood remain on top after Friday night's 19-point win over St Kilda, while Hawthorn tuned up for Friday night's Etihad Stadium blockbuster against Carlton with a record 165-point crushing of Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Essendon are on track for finals after Saturday night's impressive 49-point win over the Western Bulldogs, while Brisbane won the battle for state bragging rights by 62 points against Gold Coast.

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