Logan McDonald is consoled by Tom Papley after Sydney's loss to St Kilda in R17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY coach John Longmire has lamented his side's inability to take its chances after a second narrow loss in as many weeks.

The Swans fell to St Kilda by two points on Sunday night despite recording 13 more inside 50s and eight more scoring shots.

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"As Leigh Matthews says, (conversion is) probably the most important stat in AFL footy," Longmire said post-match.

"I think, obviously, where we're having our shots comes into it, that's always part of it ... 13 goals six to 11.15. That's part of it, especially when you have more inside 50s as well."

For the second week running, young key forward Logan McDonald was the player with ball in hand in the dying moments to snatch a win for Sydney. Unfortunately for the West Australian, both shots missed.


With 90 seconds left on the clock and Sydney down by three points, McDonald marked the footy 50m from goal and went back for the set shot. Initially it looked like redemption for the Swan, but the ball faded late to only record a behind.

"In the end, we thought he could have kicked it from there. Maybe just the old adage, aim to the right when you're that far out because if you're a right footer, you're going to pull it to the left-hand goal post," Longmire, who kicked 511 goals in his own career as a key forward, said.

"It's something we'll work through."


Longmire said is not overly concerned with the Swans' back-to-back losses after a blistering start to the season, however, noting that every side goes through a tough patch each season.

"We've had a pretty reasonable start to the season," he said.

"It's hard to play at that level for a long time, and so it'll give us something to work on, there's no question about that."

Despite the consecutive losses, Sydney still remains on top of the ladder, two games plus percentage clear of its closest challenger Carlton, who also lost this weekend.

Luke Parker (centre) and Callum Mills (right) at Swans training at the SCG on June 27, 2024. Picture: Brett Costello

Two of the Swans' co-captains from last season who are yet to play a senior game in 2024 - Luke Parker and Callum Mills - will become available next week, with Longmire saying both will be important in the coming weeks.

"They're both reasonable players, so I'm sure that both will play a role," Longmire said.

For St Kilda coach Ross Lyon, his players' ability to shake off any distractions or momentum swings was a big positive, leaning heavily on "persistence and perseverance".


"I thought our ability to let go of errors and stay in the moment and next moment was really important," Lyon said.

He pointed to a 90-second patch late in the third quarter where Swan Isaac Heeney kicked two "interesting ones" – one after an elbow to the nose of Jimmy Webster and another from a free kick – as a stage where the Saints were able to stay focused on the task at hand.

"It's not even a judgement on (the free kick), but we didn't get distracted by that," Lyon said.

The focus now for St Kilda is about laying the groundwork for future success, with Lyon conceding finals are an unlikely proposition this year.

Mattaes Phillipou celebrates St Kilda's win over Sydney in R17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"It's unlikely and probably impossible to play finals, but how we go about it now and try to prepare and compete and review, set standards for future success," Lyon said.

Nineteen-year-old Mattaes Phillipou was a standout for the Saints, returning from a six-week stint in the VFL to record 26 disposals, 714 metres gained and kick an important goal in the win.

"It's great to see Phillipou, who embraced his time in the seconds ... he worked on his midfield craft with Lenny Hayes, played and played and was happy to play and to improve," Lyon said.

The coach also confirmed that tagger Marcus Windhager would be set for a stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury that saw him subbed out of the game in the third quarter.