«It was just a fantastic effort,» Longmire said. «You lose some of your senior players that we had out of the team, a lot of experience and you’re able to still turn up and play like that, scrap to end and get some reward for it … we still didn’t get everything right but the young boys had a real crack and those blokes who had played a bit of footy led from the front.
«We’re really confident in that younger group and they were able to withstand a really hot game at a ground the opposition have a lot of experience and a good record at.»
But a much sterner assignment awaits in the form of the Magpies, who have won their last six in a row and sit second on the ladder.
Young teams like Sydney traditionally have peaks and troughs in form — of the 22 players who took the field against the Kangaroos, only four had played 100 games or more. After two upset wins, they’re probably due for a dip, which makes the senior personnel around them so important.
Jones, one of Sydney’s best midfielders across the opening nine rounds, is due to have scans on Monday to determine the full extent of his injury but the Swans are expecting to be without him for multiple weeks.
Franklin and Kennedy, meanwhile, will need to get through Wednesday’s training session unscathed to be any chance of facing the Magpies in Sydney’s annual Marn Grook game to kick off the AFL’s Indigenous round.
Franklin was on course to play his 300th game against Collingwood until his hamstring issues arose, prompting him to be scratched from the team that had been named to play against GWS in round six. The club described it was a «minor» strain at the time but if he is unable to play against Collingwood he will have missed five games with it.