SYDNEY's finals hopes are just about dashed but coach John Longmire heaped praise on his side after a heartbreaking six-point loss to Hawthorn on Friday night.
The Swans head into next week's bye with a 3-7 record after the Hawks stunned the home side for the second year running, with captain Jarryd Roughead's goal 28 minutes into the final term clinching the points at the SCG.
Longmire, like his players, was shattered after going down to Hawthorn after they'd fought back to lead by eight points in the last quarter, despite playing with just two on the bench for the second half.
Defender Jake Lloyd was knocked out in the opening minute of the game, and forward Sam Reid was also concussed in the second term, and while the Swans bravely worked their way in front, Roughead's set shot from outside 50 sealed the result.
"I don't think we played the sort of footy we wanted to in the first half, particularly when they had the ball, but I thought in the second half there was some pretty courageous efforts by a lot of players," Longmire said after the loss.
"To come back and fight the fight after not playing that well in the first half, and then losing two players, and digging in like they did, was a huge effort.
"There were some blokes that competed and pushed themselves to the absolute limits, coming off two six-day breaks, and they just had a real crack in that second half.
"Unfortunately we didn't do enough to hang on."
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With scores tied, last year's NAB AFL rising star winner Callum Mills had a running shot to put the Swans in front, but his shanked kick only found a Hawthorn defender, and the resultant turnover ended up in Roughead's hands for the match-winner.
"There was that and a couple of other things too. Whether they were fatigued and couldn't think clearly, and couldn't quite get the distance in the kick, it was probably a couple of those things together," Longmire said.
Superstar forward Lance Franklin's five goals before three-quarter time were a major reason the Swans were still a chance to win the game, with the triple Coleman medallist outstanding in a losing effort.
"He was enormous," Longmire said.
"He was very rarely beaten in one-on-ones, one-on-twos, one-on-threes, and was an enormous presence."