Buddy fit, Swans mull change for AFL semi

Sep 12, 2017 - 5:23 AM Sydney achieved near perfection in their AFL elimination final but coach John Longmire may yet change his side for Friday night's knockout bout with Geelong.

The Swans cruised to a 65-point win over Essendon at the SCG on Saturday after booting 10 consecutive goals in the first half.

Lance Franklin, who was put on ice at three-quarter time because of a corked thigh, is set to train on Wednesday and considered in no doubt for the MCG clash.

Out-of-favour big man Kurt Tippett is expected to be overlooked again but Lewis Melican, if passed fit, may convince Longmire to tinker with a winning formula.

Melican, the latest in a long line of rookie-list success stories at Sydney, was a last-minute scratching from the elimination final because of a tight quad.

He has played 17 games this year, earning a Rising Star nomination for curbing the influence of St Kilda icon Nick Riewoldt.

Key defenders Dane Rampe and Heath Grundy will be tasked with stopping Tom Hawkins and Harry Taylor, but Longmire is wary of Geelong's other potent forwards.

"He's an important player for us. He's able to play on talls and smalls," Longmire said of Melican.

"He's certainly a chance.

"He gives us a lot of flexibility. He's proven a number of weeks that he's an important player in our back six."

Longmire suggested last Saturday that Franklin, who spent quarter-time on an exercise bike, could have easily played the last term against Essendon if required.

The superstar's recovery has since gone exactly to plan.

"He'll train, and play on Friday night," Swans football manager Tom Harley said of Franklin.

"Lance has recovered really well ... he's an absolute pro in what he does post-game."

Tippett, who played in the NEAFL grand final last Saturday, has overcome the ankle injury that contributed to his axing last week.

But the ruck-forward appears no closer to a call-up.

"He was OK without setting the world on fire," Longmire said of Tippett's performance in the seconds.

"His ankle got through the game really well, so that was important for him and us."

Longmire noted there was no secret behind his club's recent impressive record against Geelong, which includes last year's lopsided preliminary final, and it was a case of "making sure you bring your best against the best".

"We have enormous respect for the Cats," he said.

Source: AAP

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