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Longmire's lament: 'We just got beaten around the ball'

Full post-match: Swans Watch Sydney's press conference after their round one match against the Western Bulldogs

SYDNEY coach John Longmire has lamented his team's lack of competitiveness in the midfield in a disastrous first half during the Swans' 17-point loss to the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

The Swans were listless early and trailed by 40 points in the early stages of the third quarter before reducing the deficit to just four points, only to be overrun again late.

They lost several key statistical categories, including clearances (41-32), contested possessions (151-125) and inside 50s (68-47), allowing the Dogs to play the game on their terms.

DOGS UPSET SWANS Full match coverage and stats

Longmire was also disappointed his team couldn't quite nail a go-ahead goal when they were "coming home with a wet sail".

"We were well beaten between the arcs and ground balls – a massive differential in that part of the ground," Longmire told reporters post-match.

"From midfielders, their high half-forwards, they just got the hard ball, looseball gets in that area. We didn't adjust. We tried to adjust and we didn't stop it until the last quarter.

"We just got beaten around the ball. They had nine scoring shots to three from stoppages.

"They played the way they wanted to around the footy. They were able to run forward in the 50-50 situations because they were able to get their hand on it – they were just all over it. That's what good teams do, that's what they do when they're playing well and that's what they did tonight."

Longmire agreed the Bulldogs troubled the Swans with their leg speed and frenetic ball movement.

"It looked it. They were harder and cleaner, getting onto the scrambled ball a lot quicker than we were. We tried to make adjustments during the game and at half-time to change it but it wasn't until we lifted our work rate in the last quarter," he said.

 

The Swans coach said that at the long break he urged his team to be proactive when not directly involved in the play.

"We were standing there watching when the ball's left our area rather than joining in. Whether that's scramble, off the ball, contest, we were standing there watching rather than going across and making the play," he said.

Swans superstar Lance Franklin had a quiet night with just seven disposals and a goal in limited game time after an interrupted pre-season, and Longmire said he would increase his on-field minutes next round against Adelaide at the SCG if he recovers sufficiently given the Swans have just a six-day break.

"He certainly trained more than what he trained last year but hopefully he can get going in regards to the training program," he said.