Franklin ner­vous af­ter Docker decked in Swans’ easy vic­tory

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - SCG

THE SYD­NEY Swans’ em­phatic 59-point win over Fre­man­tle last night could come at a cost, with su­per­star Lance Franklin to come un­der scru­tiny for an el­bow to the jaw of Joel Ham­ling.

“Buddy” fin­ished with three goals in a good re­turn from four weeks on the side­lines with a bruised heel, but he and the Swans face a ner­vous wait af­ter he caught Ham­ling with a stray el­bow late in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Fre­man­tle le de­fender took a long time to re­gain his feet af­ter the blow, failed his con­cus­sion test and d didn’t re­turn to o the field in the e sec­ond half.

The only sav­ing grace for the he star for­ward was he was in pos­ses­sion on of the ball and swung ung his fore­arm across his is body in a bid to shrug off Ham­ling.

While the blow was heavy heavy, Franklin’s in­tent cer­tainly wasn’t to hit his op­po­nent.

“He was con­cussed,” Fre­man­tle coach Ross Lyon said.

“He seems OK, it was a con­cus­sion. We did the right thing, not the right thing it’s what should hap­pen and hope­fully he re­cov­ers well enough to get up. But if he doesn’t, we wouldn’t play him next week. I didn’t see the in­ci­dent.”

Swans coach John Long­mire also said he didn’t see the clash and couldn’t com­ment.

Syd­ney suf­fered a knock to the head them­selves when Zak Jones clashed with Michael Wal­ters in the last quar­ter and didn’t re­turn.

“He’s OK, I just didn’t put him back on,” Long­mire said.

“I had a chat with him and they (med­i­cal staff) didn’t want to put him back on and said, ‘don’t worry about it for the rest of the game’. He seemed OK.”

The in­ci­dents were the only down­sides for the Swans who dom­i­nated the match from the out­set, claim­ing just their sec­ond win at the SCG af­ter sur­pris­ingly los­ing three of the first four at their home ground. They also im­proved their per­cent­age by 8 to 114.6. The Dock­ers were a man down for the sec­ond half but it didn’t ex­cuse a sub-par performance in which they kicked just one first-half goal and two by three-quar­ter time.

Their 52 points was their sec­ond-low­est score against the Swans, break­ing the mark they set only last year when they could man­age only 5.9.39 in round 21 at the SCG.

Syd­ney’s pres­sure lev­els were high but the Dock­ers butchered the ball con­tin­u­ously, giv­ing their for­wards lit­tle hope of tak­ing ad­van­tage of a 31-25 clear­ance win.

For the Swans, the de­fend­ers led the way with Jake Lloyd pick­ing up a ca­reer-best 41 dis­pos­als and for­mer co­cap­tain Jar­rad McVeigh 31.

The twin pil­lars of Dane Rampe and Heath Grundy were again out­stand­ing.

“They played well, they all contributed,” Long­mire said.

“Most im­por­tantly keep- ing the op­po­si­tion down to a goal or two at half­time is crit­i­cal and ev­ery­thing else gets built on top of that.

“It was a re­ally good performance tonight, good of­fen­sively and good de­fen­sively. It was a good spread of play­ers con­tribut­ing whether it was blokes who have been around a bit or just the young kids.”

There were also mile­stones galore for Syd­ney, Franklin’s three goals mov­ing him to 300 for the Swans.

Only he and Tony Lock­ett have scored more than 300 goals at two dif­fer­ent clubs. Buddy booted 580 in his nine sea­sons at Hawthorn.

Skip­per Josh Kennedy cel­e­brated his 200th game as a Swan with three goals and de­fender Nick Smith was at his eco­nom­i­cal best with an out­stand­ing job on Hay­den Bal­lan­tyne, keep­ing him to just a soli­tary late goal.

Last week’s seven-goal hero Ben Ronke booted one.

Syd­ney’s Lance Franklin bat­tles for pos­ses­sion against Fre­man­tle and (inset) el­bows Joel Ham­ling. Pic­tures: Phil Hill­yard

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