SYDNEY coach John Longmire has urged for calm over calls for a send-off rule in the AFL in the wake of the Tom Stewart-Dion Prestia incident on the weekend.
Tigers midfielder Prestia was knocked out by a heavy, late hit from Stewart on Saturday and forced to leave the MCG, while Stewart went on to play a starring role in the three-point Geelong victory.
That's led to a litany of queries as to whether it's time for a send-off rule in the AFL, but the Swans coach says there needs to be a greater investigation into the situation before making such a dramatic change to the game.
"First and foremost, we have to make sure we don't react to one incident. We need some more research on how many times it happens and the impact of it. To just come off one incident and be a bit reactionary isn't the way to go, we need a bit of a deep breath and see if it's a real issue or not before we support it or not," Longmire said.
"It's just shooting from the hip to say you support it or don't support it without looking at how many times it happens."
Sydney's 51-point thumping of St Kilda came just after the controversial Cats triumph to round out a Super Saturday of action and move the Swans into sixth spot on the ladder.
The win was executed despite the absence of dasher Justin McInerney and defender Harry Cunningham through health and safety protocols, along with several support staff including senior assistant coach Don Pyke.
That meant Swans chief executive Tom Harley was forced to help out on the bench during the game, but Longmire says he expects all absentees to be available for Saturday's encounter with Essendon at Marvel Stadium as the Swans try to hone in on a top-four spot.
Ruckman Peter Ladhams is available after his one-week suspension, but with Tom Hickey performing superbly against Rowan Marshall on Saturday night and forward Sam Reid continuing his strong form as the pinch-hitting ruck in support, there's a chance Ladhams will play in the VFL instead.
"I'm not sure yet. It won't be the thing to decide the game. It'll be good to have Peter available again and see what mix we need to take on the Bombers on Saturday," Longmire said.
"We've got Lance (Franklin), Sam Reid, Logan McDonald, Joel Amartey's been going well, Peter as well so you have to pick the right balance in the team. This week we'll look at what that mix looks like and see how Hickey's pulled up and make sure he's able to get through a full week of training."
Isaac Heeney starred with three goals against the Saints to follow on from his four-goal effort the week before in the defeat to Port Adelaide.
In a goalkicking sense, it's a return to his early-season exploits after the Swans dynamo plateaued between rounds eight and 12, with only three goals in five weeks.
"The break freshened him up a bit, he works so hard during the course of the game, he runs like a midfielder so we need to make sure he gets the right kind of rest in the middle of the year and he's come back looking refreshed which is great to see," Longmire said.
"You get off to a great start to the season and it's very hard to maintain that level sometimes. For the first five or six weeks there he was one of the best players going around, so it's hard to maintain that over the course of the year. Opposition teams put more work into you but his role hasn't changed a great deal."
The Swans' build up to Saturday's clash with the Bombers is set to centre around three-time best and fairest winner Luke Parker, who will step out for the club for the 250th time.
"Luke turned up here as a fresh-faced young kid and from the moment he walked into the place we knew we had a real competitor. Going back to 2012, he was just learning the ropes but he just loved going out there and competing and he's been like that throughout his career," Longmire said.
"One of the biggest wraps you can give a player is that when you run out onto the race you know what you're going to get every week and Luke has been the epitome of that."