Franklin fresh off the boot
A COUPLE of weeks ago Lance Franklin said he felt like a 25-year-old and last night he played like one against Brisbane in their JLT clash, booting four goals to lead the Swans to an easy 55-point win.
The Coleman medallist hit the ground running at the Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, scoring the opening goal and giving away the second to Tom Papley.
He added another two to open the scoring in the second term and when he hit James Rose lace-out he had a hand in all but one of the Swans’ six goals first-half goals.
By the time he had his fourth, late in the third quarter, the Swans had the game completely in their control.
Buddy had plenty of scoreboard support from his small forwards led by Tom Papley and Rose, who finished with three each, and Sam Reid two.
Dane Rampe also led a miserly defence holding Brisbane to just five goals with the last three coming in junk time.
The only downside for the Swans were ankle injuries to Aliir Aliir and Callum Sinclair.
Aliir made a bright start but didn’t return after quarter time while Sinclair fell awkwardly in a third quarter marking contest. If body language is any guide Sinclair’s injury looks to be the more serious of the two.
The Lions were without three key players, best-andfairest Dayne Zorko, 34-yearold recruit Luke Hodge and skipper Dayne Beams, who was on compassionate leave after the passing of his father Philip. But their performance was disappointing with Stefan Martin clearly their best player dominating in the ruck and around the ground.
Eric Hipwood looked dangerous and finished with two goals, as did Ben Keays. Allen Christensen also did well in his return from injury.
After their horror 0-6 start last year it’s clear John Longmire is making sure his team are up and running from round one.
He put his strongest possible team on the park in last weekend’s practice match against GWS and did the same against the Lions with Zak Jones, Heath Grundy, Jarrad McVeigh and Dan Hannebery the only players missing.
Grundy and Jones are expected to play next week in the JLT match against the Giants but Hannebery and McVeigh are both in doubt for the round one clash against West Coast in three weeks time.
Sam Naismith was a late withdrawal and was replaced by Darcy Cameron in the selected side.
Lance Franklin dominated against the Lions. Picture: Getty