Close victory thrills Longmire

Sportal June 23, 2012, 8:05 am
Andrejs Everitt

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Sydney coach John Longmire has played down any concerns over his side's habit of late fadeouts, delighted the Swans are finding a way to win to win tight matches.

For the second game in a row, the Swans bolted out to huge leads before just holding on to record single-digit victories.

A fortnight ago, Longmire's side led Essendon by eight goals at three-quarter-time before surviving a late Bombers fightback to win by just four points.

And it was a similar story on Friday night against Geelong as the Swans controlled the match from the outset only to throw away a six-goal lead to trail midway through the final term before rallying to win 12.8 (80) to 11.8 (74) at the SCG.

Far from being worried about the recent trend, Longmire said coming away with the four points was the only important thing and will hold them in good stead come the end of the season.

"Winning the close games makes a massive difference," the Swans boss said.

"The bottom line is you have to be in front when the final siren goes. That's the most important statistic of all.

"For the players to be able to do that and kick some important goals in the last quarter was terrific.

"We can get better and we have to get better. But I thought we did a lot of things right.

"There's probably 18 or 19 premiership players in the opposition, so from that aspect it was fantastic."

Asked why he believed the Swans let their lead slip in the final term, Longmire said: "The last quarter we just didn't win the ball.

"We stopped going at the footy. That's the most important thing at any time of the game, making sure you get your hands on the ball.

"We didn't do that in the last quarter.

"But they're a quality team Geelong, last year's premiers, coming back into some real form

"For the players to come off Essendon, then the bye, and back up here against the Cats, in a massive game for us, was a real credit to them."

Sydney kicked seven goals to one in a dominant first quarter but only managed five after that to allow the Cats to grind their way back into the contest.

The visitors turned a 24-point deficit into a two-point lead 20 minutes into the final term but substitute Andrejs Everitt emerged as an unlikely hero when he took a contested mark inside 50m and goaled from a tight angle with less than two minutes left.

Everitt had only just come on for Swans co-captain Adam Goodes who was in his first game in six weeks after a quad injury and Longmire joked he always knew he would turn out to be a super-sub.

"I said to him 'can you go on and kick a goal?' and he obliged, so he's a very coachable player," Longmire said.

"He's a great kick. As coaches we were thinking about the what-ifs after, but he was pretty good when he came on and gave us a real spark.

"Obviously it was a pressure kick and he delivered."

The victory takes Sydney's record to 9-3 ahead of the local derby against GWS next week and puts them back on top of the ladder at least until Collingwood's game with West Coast on Saturday.

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1 Comments

  1. Anfrice11:32am Saturday 23rd June 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    How do you get thrilled about nearly throwing away a game that was over in the first quarter...

    Reply
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