Humbled Sydney to reset during AFL bye

Saturday 12 June, 2021
Rob Forsaith
Sydney Swans players against Hawthorn. Sydney Swans players against Hawthorn.
Will Hayward (2nd r) is one Swan who will benefit from the bye after a tough night against Hawthorn.

The bye has come at a good time for Sydney forward Will Hayward, who would otherwise be a guaranteed enforced omission as per the AFL's concussion protocols.

The Swans suffered a shock loss to Hawthorn on Friday night, squandering a chance to climb into the top four.

John Longmire's team will now reset before preparing for a challenging stretch of clashes with Port Adelaide (away), West Coast (home) and Western Bulldogs (away).

Hayward was substituted out of Friday night's 38-point defeat because of a head knock.

"He seems OK at the moment," Longmire said.

"Those things happen in the course of the game, I'm not sure that was the difference in the match.

"We were just disappointing ... we got well beaten in every area.

"It sits there in the pit of your stomach for a few days then hopefully we come back at the end of next week and go again.

"We've got to make sure we're in the right space when we get back."

Jake Lloyd and Harry Cunningham played on, in obvious discomfort, after suffering injuries in the second quarter against the Hawks.

"Those two boys were pretty sore," Longmire admitted.

Isaac Heeney (ankle) and Tom Hickey (knee), who both struggled against Hawthorn and are on restricted workloads at training, will also benefit from the break.

Hayward's absence - coupled with quiet nights for Heeney, Lance Franklin and Tom Papley - ensured the Swans finished with just seven goals total in the loss.

But Sydney's forward line, which has been a strong suit in a promising start to 2021, was also often let down by the quality of delivery from teammates.

"It's a bit of everything, it's never one thing," Longmire said.

"We didn't get any flow on the ball but we also didn't use the ball well going (forward in) that 40 to 80 zone.

"We bombed the ball in a bit there and we couldn't win any real contests in front of the ball.

"Hawthorn played that part of the game pretty well.

"You can have all the theories in the world (as to why) but the reality is you have to get it done."