Swans star Buddy needed a run: Longmire

Sydney coach John Longmire says Lance Franklin needed game time in their loss to the Bulldogs.
Sydney coach John Longmire says Lance Franklin needed game time in their loss to the Bulldogs.

Sydney coach John Longmire has defended the decision to play Lance Franklin after the superstar forward had only a limited impact in their season-opening loss to the Western Bulldogs.

Franklin, whose pre-season was severely curtailed by groin surgery, finished at the bottom of the Swans' stats sheet, with just seven possessions and one goal, in Saturday night's 11.16 (82) to 9.11 (65) loss to the Dogs at Marvel Stadium.

The 32-year-old cut a frustrated figure, spending plenty of time on the bench or in a deep forward role.

"We knew he'd be time-limited ... we decided to make that decision and put him in the team," Longmire said.

"We need to get him playing. He certainly trained more than what he trained last year but hopefully he can get going in regards to the training program.

"We go into a six-day break next week, if he's able to get through that he should be able to improve his minutes played.

"Over the last three weeks he's been doing all the sessions.

"Once you get into the game mode that's the challenge - being able to recover and still train."

Franklin will be better for the run ahead of Friday night's encounter with Adelaide at the SCG.

Longmire lamented the Swans' basic inability to get their hands on the ball at the contest in a pivotal first half where they scored just one goal.

Even so, there was just four points in it with five minutes to go after a stunning late rally.

"We were coming home with a wet sail," Longmire said.

"We needed things to go right after the start we had. We got close, we just couldn't quite kick that goal to put us in front."

Australian Associated Press