Swan has mixed emotions after AFL loss

Sydney expect to do plenty of extra goalkicking practice this week ahead of Saturday night’s home AFL semi-final.

The undermanned Swans were outstanding in Saturday’s pulsating AFL qualifying final loss to minor premiers Fremantle in Perth, particularly in the third term.

But the Dockers hung on to win by nine points and the Swans were left ruing their poor goalkicking as they fight to keep their season alive.

They had six more scoring shots, but returned a costly 7.18.

Sydney utility Tom Mitchell admitted to strong mixed emotions afterwards.

“It’s a little bit of everything, I suppose,” Mitchell said.

“I know if we bring that sort of effort again, then we should be a really good chance of beating any team, really.

“You couldn’t ask for much more from the boys – everyone cracked in.

“But it gives us confidence that if we play like that, it should hold us in good stead.”

Mitchell said they were probably in for extra goalkicking practice this week after spraying so many shots against Fremantle.

“Obviously, you have to make the most of your opportunities and we had some pretty easy shots that we would have loved to have kicked,” he said.

“We’ll have to work on that during the week.

“It shows how importance it is.

“It was pretty windy out there, but some of the shots we missed, we probably still should have kicked the goal.”

Mitchell could feel the intensity rise in the third term as Sydney took the game up to the Dockers.

“You can sense in games when the pressure’s building,” he said.

“We stuck a lot of tackles in that quarter and you could feel the pressure lift and the crowd getting involved, too.”

He added coach John Longmire praised the players post-match for a gutsy performance.

“He was still pretty happy with our effort,” Mitchell said.

“He was proud of the way the boys went about it.

“We had a crack and hit around the ball; the pressure was really good.

“It’s just tidying up a few of the other technical parts of the game.”

The Swans are missing key players such as Lance Franklin, Kieren Jack and Luke Parker, plus Sam Reid hurt his hamstring against Fremantle.

But Mitchell said that could also help the team’s resolve.

Saturday’s performance was a strong example of their famed Bloods culture.

“There were a few guys playing their first final today but it (all the injuries) can definitely galvanise you,” he said.

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