SYDNEY is expecting to be without Tom Hickey for several weeks after the veteran ruckman injured his knee in the thrilling two-point loss to Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.
Hickey had been one of the most influential players on the ground until making his way to the bench clutching his knee just before three-quarter time, with what the club thinks is a PCL. The 30-year-old ruckman was subbed off soon after for midfielder Dylan Stephens.
While Sydney coach John Longmire acknowledged the Swans missed Hickey at the moment Giants mid Josh Kelly snapped the match-winning goal from a stoppage, he put the blame on the players at the drop of the ball rather than his relief ruckman Sam Reid.
SWANS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats
"We just needed to pick [Kelly] up. That's pretty simple. We just didn't get it done," an unimpressed Longmire said.
"Some good learning for a few of our younger fellas, and just a reminder for some of the experienced players that we should've got it sorted out.
"I thought Reidy was pretty good in that last period on the ball, but we probably lost him in other areas, which would've been handy."
Leon Cameron held Kelly up for praise, not only for that goal, but for the way he performed throughout the Sydney Derby as well as in recent weeks.
Kelly finished with 26 touches and 474m gained, none more important than the few metres the ball travelled to put the Giants up by two points at the death.
"I thought he played a really good game. His last three weeks have been really good, he's getting his hands on the footy, he's efficient, he's hitting the scoreboard," Cameron said.
"He's had a couple of shots tonight and nailed the one that we needed."
The Giants stand-in skipper was having a day to forget, kicking 0.7, before kicking a goal at the 26-minute mark that he'll remember for a long time.
Toby Greene kicked the goal before Kelly's, to give the Giants a sniff when it had seemed like the Swans would keep their crosstown rivals at arms’ length and move to 5-0 for the first time since 2012.
"Some of those nights are not going to go your way," Cameron said.
"But it takes a special player to want big moments. We wanted him deep in the last five or six minutes, he was, and he had some moments there he probably could have kicked a couple more.
"He's a special talent, special player and led us again from the front.
"He just never gives up, and the players that play in behind him just love it."