Swans slump to 0-4, worst start in 24 years

Buddy hurt in big bump0:53

AFL: A big hit by Shannon Hurn forced Sydney Swans star Lance Franklin off the field in the first quarter of his side’s clash with West Coast.

Lance Franklin played hurt after copping a heavy hit in the opening term. Picture: Getty

THE fat lady hasn’t started singing for the Swans’ season, but she’s warming up her tonsils after West Coast’s 26-point win in Perth condemned Sydney to their worst start in 24 years.

At 0-4 they will now need a minor miracle to make the finals.

Since 2000 there have been 24 teams who have started with four consecutive losses and none of them have seen September action.

To make matters even worse for Sydney their next match is against the GWS Giants who would like nothing better than to sink the boot into their cross-town rivals when they are down.

While they were beaten, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the red and whites who were still in the match with less than 10 minutes to go.

The Eagles were too good in the end but Josh Kennedy led the way again for the Swans.

The Eagles were too good in the end but Josh Kennedy led the way again for the Swans.Source:AAP

Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Jake Lloyd were relentless in their work rate and their massively inexperienced youngsters were again outstanding. None were more impressive than livewire forward Will Hayward who looks a terrific Rising Star prospect.

He provided a target all night and kicked two goals but could easily have made it four had he kicked straight.

The Swans were over the moon to pick him up at No.21 in last year’s draft and it’s easy to see why. He is one of 11 players in the current line-up who have made their debut either this season or last.

An injury-hampered Lance Franklin was brave and kicked two goals for the night as he played hurt following a heavy first-quarter clash with Eagles skipper Shannon Hurn.

Lance Franklin played hurt after copping a heavy hit in the opening term. Picture: Getty

Lance Franklin played hurt after copping a heavy hit in the opening term. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

The impact was taken in the ribs and upper thigh on the right side of his body. He was treated on the bench and returned to the field shortly after but was badly limping. He spent the last minutes of the match on the bench icing his injury and may struggle to be fit for the GWS clash.

Franklin still needs another three goals to reach the 800 mark.

Tom Papley was also in excellent touch in his first game for the year. He kicked one goal and looked sharp. Not surprisingly, he ran out of puff in the second half. His inclusion was a measure of just how highly John Longmire rates the small forward.

While Kennedy and Parker look to be back to their best, but the form of Dan Hannebery continues to be a concern for Longmire.

The Eagles were too good for the Swans in the end as Sydney slump to 0-4 to start the season. Picture: Getty

The Eagles were too good for the Swans in the end as Sydney slump to 0-4 to start the season. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

After an improved performance last week against Collingwood, he again struggled again with just 22 possessions. It was the third time this season he’s had less than 25 touches in a match.

One of the highlights of the match was the battle between Aliir Aliir and Jeremy McGovern. The contest between two of the rising talents in the AFL looked like the first instalment of a series that could last much of the next decade.

McGovern probably edged the Swans defender with two goals but Sydney looked dangerous every time Aliir had the ball in his hands, although he did get caught out hanging onto the ball too long on a couple of occasions.

Originally published as Swans slump to 0-4, worst start in 24 years

SOURCE: newsnow sport