ON A CHAOTIC weekend featuring several shock results, Sydney Swans coach John Longmire was happy to restore order by simply coming away with the points against Melbourne on Saturday night.
With Geelong starting a stunning pattern by crushing Collingwood on Friday night, St Kilda staging a remarkable revival against the Western Bulldogs and Greater Western Sydney coming of age by upsetting two-time reigning premier Hawthorn, Longmire said his team was never going to take the Demons lightly.
Besides, the Swans hadn't been in great touch themselves – after winning their opening three games, they had lost their past two: against Fremantle by 14 points at Domain Stadium and the Western Bulldogs by four points at the SCG.
Longmire was just pleased to win, and for a while it seemed the Swans would win in a landslide, leading by 59 points at the 19-minute mark of the third term. However, Melbourne got back to within 30 points late in the last quarter before the Swans cruised to a 38-point victory.
"I'm stating the obvious but ... it's good to be able to win," Longmire said.
"You see the results and stages in games across the competition going either way – big swings in games. So we don't underestimate how difficult it is to win games.
"Our pressure early in the game was really good and we were able to cause some turnover goals, and to keep them to 12 inside 50s in the first half, double their inside 50s (61-31) for the game and almost double their scoring shots (28-15). So we did some things that were OK tonight."
The Swans conceded five of the last six goals of the game but Longmire didn't believe it was a concerning lapse, or a consequence from the tough clash with the Bulldogs last week, pointing to the fact his side squandered many scoring chances in the final term.
"We kicked 1.7 in the last quarter (when) we had 15 inside 50s. Those things are important to get right … they kicked some goals but we missed some easy ones," he said.
Longmire was also pleased with the forward work of big man Kurt Tippett (four goals, including three in the first quarter) after slotting just seven majors in the opening five rounds.
"I thought his ruck work has been really good. We've used him more in the ruck this year, so he hasn't been just up front," Longmire said.
"The last couple of weeks he's been a bit quiet but he was good in that first quarter to get some hand on the ball and put some scoreboard pressure on. That was important for us."
The Swans host Geelong at ANZ Stadium next Saturday night.