Young Swans make their mark against Demons

Sydney coach John Longmire has praised his AFL youngsters for stepping up to do a job on Melbourne.

The Swans faced a test of depth in the absence of key defenders Ted Richards, Jeremy Laidler and Harrison Marsh at the SCG on Sunday.

But under driving rain and the skilful leadership of co-captain Jarrad McVeigh, 21-year-olds Zak Jones and Aliir Aliir put in impressive contributions.

The back six stifled the Demons in the wet as the Swans applied an AFL-record 155 tackles and Lance Franklin scored four majors in a 55-point triumph.

“I thought Aliir and Jones were quite good in our back six,” Longmire said.

“McVeigh was really good across half-back which certainly helps.

“He was strong with his contested ball and his pressure as well.

“To be able to keep a team to four goals was a good sign.”

Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy were customarily consistent with 28 disposals each.

But Longmire also singled out Dean Towers and James Rose, hailing the younger and less-experienced players as fantastic despite tough conditions.

Towers in particular was a surprise packet, starring with two goals and 27 disposals.

It was the 26-year-old’s fifth game of the season and his first since his forgettable finish against Richmond a month ago.

“His form has been really solid in the reserves, but (it’s about) transferring it to the seniors,” Longmire said.

“He’s done it in little parts here and there, so it’s just a matter of consistently transferring it.

“But if he keeps playing the way he was in the reserves and you get that confidence and consistency, there’s that transferral up to the next level.

“He was certainly able to do it in this match, he was terrific.”

Longmire conceded Kurt Tippett’s eight-week sidelining following hamstring surgery was a blow.

However, he thought Callum Sinclair did well in the No.1 ruck role while 21-year-old Toby Nankervis showed promise in his contests with in-form Demons big man Max Gawn.

The Swans have a bye this weekend before hosting the Bulldogs in round 15.

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