Richmond coach Damien Hardwick called it “a bounce of God”.
Sydney counterpart John Longmire says the Swans had it coming.
With less than 30 seconds left in Saturday night’s pulsating AFL match at the MCG, Richmond’s Dustin Martin frantically kicked the ball long out of defence.
It bounced at right angles into the arms of Jack Riewoldt, who passed to Ben Griffiths, who found Sam Lloyd with a short kick.
Lloyd coolly slotted through the goal after the final siren to give the Tigers the one-point win.
Longmire said the Swans should never have been in the position where Riewoldt’s miraculously kind bounce could prove so damaging.
“We should have still won it in the end, as far as when we had our noses in front,” Longmire said.
“But did we deserve to win it? We left it up to a bit of luck, I think, and Richmond played quite well.
“We were up and down tonight. There were spurts of form.”
After Griffiths had kicked his fifth goal at 24 minutes, the Swans had hung on for nearly seven minutes – just not quite long enough.
Longmire agreed it was very un-Sydney to let the match slip.
“We normally do that a bit better – we looked at a couple of structural things we normally get right, that we didn’t,” Longmire said of the end of the match.
He noted Richmond had 19 marks inside 50 and five goals from centre bounces.
In short, the Swans were well off their best after starting the season with a 6-1 record.
Longmire said they simply had too many players who had poor games.
In his first game back from a fractured eye socket, key defender Ted Richards struggled and he dropped a crucial mark in the last quarter.
They clearly missed midfielder Josh Kennedy, but Longmire is hopeful he will return from a minor hamstring injury for Friday night’s big match against Hawthorn at the MCG.
Longmire noted Saturday night was a rare dip in form for his team and added he had faith that they would be more consistent against the Hawks.