WHEN Sydney superstar Lance Franklin succumbed to a left hamstring injury late in the third quarter of the Swans' Friday night clash with Hawthorn, the alarm bells were ringing.

Franklin had been putting on a show, so the four-time Coleman medallist's absence might have allowed his former side to creep back into the contest and steal victory at the SCG.

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A left-foot floater from Jack Gunston that somehow bounced through after the siren had sounded to end the third term, with Callum Sinclair and Dane Rampe not making enough of an attempt to touch the footy as it went through, only served to give the Hawks hope.

Then stepped up the future spearhead of this Sydney forward line. 

Nick Blakey, after a relatively quiet opening three quarters, asserted his dominance in the air and booted two final-term goals to lead the Swans to a 19-point victory.

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It was a dour affair, but Sydney will nevertheless be thrilled to continue its resurgence after a disappointing start to the season, grinding out a 12.10 (82) to 9.9 (63) win.

Franklin's second hamstring injury of the season is a letdown for another reason – the champion was due to notch up his 300th game against Gold Coast next Saturday.

He wasn't the only one to go down.

Ruckman Sinclair's 100th career match was ended after a nasty landing on his head and neck region.

Both he and Blakey proved important early in the fourth quarter, booting goals to hold the Hawks at bay after they had clawed back from a 30-point deficit in the opening term.

Before going down, Franklin looked in peak form. 

Following up a five-goal display before the bye against reigning premier West Coast, Franklin was just about the only reason to watch what was largely an ugly scrap.

He finished with four goals, including a terrific snap in the opening term that he made look easy. 

Those goals came despite James Sicily having been swung into defence. The decision to have him in attack was understandable, because of Hawthorn's impotency. Alastair Clarkson's side hasn't score more than 80 points since round six, when it hit 93 in a win over Carlton.

However, Sicily struggled. He finished with 1.2 and conceded four free kicks.

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Hawks great Jarryd Roughead was recalled for his first match since round seven, picking up nine disposals in a quiet outing.

While his impact wasn't great, he managed to put through a snap on his right boot.

The Swans were led by Luke Parker in the middle, who crashed in for 31 disposals, while speedster Zak Jones came back from a hamstring concern to collect 27 himself.

Sydney: Isaac Heeney looked ginger after being tackled by Jarryd Roughead in the second term and had a thigh wrapped up, but returned to the field. That wasn't the case for Lance Franklin, who hurt his left hamstring late in the third quarter. Ruckman Callum Sinclair looked in strife after a rough landing while on a lead midway through the final term.

Hawthorn: The Hawks appeared to emerge unscathed.


Both sides play next Saturday. During the afternoon, Hawthorn hosts reigning premier West Coast at the MCG in what is expected to be brilliant ruckman Nic Naitanui's return from a left knee reconstruction. In the twilight slot, the Swans will be back at the SCG to face Gold Coast. When those sides met at that ground last July, the Suns came from 29 points down at the first break to snap an 11-match losing streak. 

SYDNEY          6.1       7.4       8.9       12.10 (82)
HAWTHORN    3.1       6.3       7.7       9.9 (63)

Sydney: Franklin 4, Papley 2, Hayward 2, Blakey 2, Menzel, Sinclair
Hawthorn: Sicily, O'Meara, Ceglar, Breust, Henderson, Roughead, Gunston, Impey, Shiels 

Sydney: Parker, Franklin, Rampe, Blakey, Jones
Hawthorn: O'Meara, Henderson, Shiels, Glass 

Sydney: Franklin (left hamstring), Sinclair (head)
Hawthorn: Nil 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Power, O'Gorman, Harris, Ryan

Official crowd: 29,553 at the SCG