Luke Parker after winning the Brett Kirk Medal following the Swans' win over GWS in round one, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY'S broadening midfield group could see star ball-winner Luke Parker spend more time in attack after his game-breaking five-goal performance in round one.

The Swans co-captain was super in his side's 20-point win on Saturday night as they overturned last year's elimination final heartbreak, with Parker kicking five goals from 21 disposals to split open the game. 

Parker was named in the Therabody AFL All-Australian squad last year and claimed the Swans' best and fairest (his third), but having been a regular goalkicker throughout his career, coach John Longmire said the midfielder could spend some more time in the front half. 

GIANTS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

"He's just got the ability to go forward and kick goals for us as a forward. He's got great forward craft and we were able to get the ball on the deck in our front half and once we did that we capitalised on those opportunities," Longmire said after the Swans' round one win. 

"Luke's ability to hit the scoreboard is probably a bit underestimated, he's been such a good midfielder over the years. But we love him going forward too, because we know he's got a great way to craft a goal."


Parker's haul came as most attention was on Lance Franklin's goal tally as he edges towards the 1000-goal mark. He kicked one for the match, with Longmire saying the Swans hadn't gotten carried away about the impending milestone. 

"We understand the outside focus but we were just thrilled for the win. We're not on countdown watch. It'll happen when it happens. The most important thing is that I thought we were very good with team orientation stuff today. It wasn't about one player and that's our focus going forward too," he said.

Franklin's next task will be up against the Cats next week at the SCG, with the Swans expecting to regain Jake Lloyd and Chad Warner, who are understood to have missed under the AFL's health and safety protocols. However, Longmire said gun forward Tom Papley (hamstring) won't play.

The Swans did have a late scare though with Justin McInerney hurting his knee in the dying moments of the game however Longmire said the initial view was that he had escaped anything serious. 


Giants counterpart Leon Cameron praised the job of veteran defender Phil Davis who kept Franklin to one goal from eight disposals, but said his backline gave too many opportunities to the Swans on the ground. 

"We've got to be careful just judging that contest. It was a really good contest and Phil did extremely well against a superstar player. But did it come to the detriment of our back seven? Because we were beaten at ground level … and Parker and [Isaac] Heeney pounced on that," Cameron said post-game.

"As much as we're really proud of Phil's game, we need to make sure collectively our back seven get the job done. That's been the strength in our two pre-season games. We've probably just dropped off in that manner."