MAKING big plays in the big moments was what edged the Sydney Swans to a crucial victory over North Melbourne, according to John Longmire.
None of those moments were bigger or better than the chase-down tackle that Lance Franklin executed late in the game to halt Kangaroos' forward Robin Nahas as the speedster charged towards goal.
It was Buddy's sixth tackle for the night, but was as spectacular as any of his four goals and just as important.
Moments later, Franklin would kick the sealer from well outside the 50-metre arc.
Longmire could not help but become animated when asked about the tackle post-game, raising his deep voice from the normal monotone.
"It was a ripping chase and tackle. He was absolutely flying," Longmire said.
"He was motoring and it was just a super chase and tackle to put the pressure on."
The chase gave the Swans time to regroup and halt the Kangaroos' momentum.
"We had a few boys … that did some big plays in big moments and that was one of them," Longmire said.
He praised Nick Smith too, a late spoil and smother particularly notable, and said it was a brave effort for Dan Hannebery to return and kick a last quarter goal after being crunched early in the third term when Jack Ziebell spoiled his attempted mark and crunched into the Swan's back.
"He's really tough and that was a big hit he copped," Longmire said.
"There was nothing wrong with it. It was just a solid bump and it knocked the wind out of him and he was a bit sore but he is a really tough young bloke and he got up and got going."
Longmire also said ruckman Mike Pyke managed to get up and get going in the second quarter after copping from the coach at quarter-time a fiercely delivered reminder of his importance in neutralising centre bounces.
"We got absolutely belted in the centre clearances," Longmire said.
"Goldstein is a very good player. He's able to get his hands on the ball almost at will at times and he is one of the leading ruckman going around at the moment. I thought 'Pikey' was better in the second quarter."
That second quarter, when the Swans had 19 more inside 50s than the Kangaroos and outscored them by 24 points, was enough to enable Longmire's men to head into the bye with a 9-2 win-loss record.
"It's not too bad. It could be a lot of worse," Longmire said.
That dry response was based on experience. He knows the half-way mark is not a time to get excited about the team's prospects, particularly when the team under his care was runner-up the year before.
"We need to get better at everything. There are plenty of things we can get better at," Longmire said.
One aspect of Swans' away games that doesn't look like improving any time soon is the crowd's booing of club champion Adam Goodes.
Longmire did not want to make any comment on the situation.
"It's obviously not changing, so me commenting on it is not going to change it," Longmire said.
"We're on the record what we think about it so we just move on. Adam is pretty keen to move on from it so I think we just support him with that."
Longmire said he was hopeful any injury concerns surrounding Hannebery and defender Heath Grundy (who came off with a knee strain late on) were minor and that they would recover for the Swans next game after the bye against Richmond.