Scott Gowans speaks to the Sydney players at three-quarter time during match between Sydney and Hawthorn at Henson Park in round seven, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY coach Scott Gowans has admitted there are a few bruised egos after last week's loss to Hawthorn, but Saturday's match against the Bulldogs is a chance to rectify that.

"The main thing for us was probably, and I like it, there were just a few bruised egos on the weekend that felt like they probably just weren't at a level to be ready to perform," Gowans said.

"I like that because that's a great learning for us."

After a strong start against the Hawks on Saturday, Gowans' Swans lost by 14 points, struggling to work through Hawthorn's contested game.

"The big fix for us is just bring effort and intensity … if you don't bring your effort and intensity and then you can't get your ball moving your way, you're going to struggle," Gowans said.

"We're concentrating week-by-week though we've got the philosophy that we're on this road to continual success, so we want our down weeks to be not so down, and out up weeks to be not so up. We want to try and find that linear line."


Admitting that his side fell away from its forward structures last week, Gowans is sure it is an "easy fix" for their coming clash with a winless Bulldogs outfit.

"Our forward structure is based around a system that involves mids as well, and we like to get the ball flowing," Gowans said.

"Anytime we get held up, what happens is that we have a couple of set mechanisms that forwards can know is where the mids are likely to put the footy, and we actually did pretty much the complete opposite on the weekend for whatever reason … we let ourselves down in that area."

More positive, however, is the form of key forward Bec Privitelli, who is having a career-best season. 

Rebecca Privitelli celebrates a goal during the match between Sydney and Hawthorn at Henson Park in round seven, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Having kicked a personal best 10 goals across the opening seven rounds, and leading the competition for marks inside 50 alongside Kate Hore and Dakota Davidson, Privitelli has become a reliable focal point in attack for the Swans.

"She's very honest with where she was at as a footballer, she's striving to get consistency in her game " Gowans said.

"She's the loudest voice down in the forward line, instructs others, sets up stoppages where she's at the back of the stoppage. She's been elite this year."


Privitelli's role will be important come Saturday where the Swans are aiming to win their fourth game of the season, against a Bulldogs outfit that is yet to snag a win this year.