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Swans take top spot in AFL
Greg Buckle
12:56 AEST Sun Jun 10 2012

Sydney coach John Longmire played down the importance of his side topping the AFL ladder following their heart-stopping win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

The Swans were outscored nine goals to two in the final term on Saturday night after leading by 47 points at three-quarter time, but held on to win 13.8 (86) to 11.16 (82) and record their eighth victory from 11 matches.

"You don't get caught up looking at the ladder because we know we haven't won enough games to play finals yet," Longmire said.

"What it does do is give the players some confidence that they can play some really strong footy.

"'Goodesy' (co-captain Adam Goodes) is an important part of the team but he hasn't been playing for a few weeks and we've been able to win without him. That's a good sign."

Goodes has been out for five weeks with a quad strain, although the dual Brownlow Medallist might return for Sydney's next game on June 22 against Geelong.

Two of Sydney's better players on Saturday night provided a strong contrast in styles, with tough midfielder Jude Bolton pumping out 24 handballs and four kicks including a goal plus nine tackles, and pacy small forward Lewis Jetta contributing three goals, 21 kicks and one handball.

"He (Jetta) is a very good player. If he gets out in space, he's almost impossible to stop," Essendon coach James Hird said.

Longmire said the third-year forward, who has kicked 27.10 this season compared to 7.21 last year, had taken the next step with his consistency.

The Swans won the uncontested-possession count 235-192, including Jetta's 16.

"They've got their inside game and they've got a good outside game now. They've made themselves very hard to play against," Hird said.

"We played a different Sydney than perhaps we played last year."

Bolton said the Swans' players felt helpless in the last quarter against a wave of Essendon goals.

"We were out on our feet really and not moving and they were up and running," Bolton told Seven's AFL Game Day on Sunday.

Essendon's Courtenay Dempsey marked two seconds before the siren on the 50-metre line and immediately played on just before the siren sounded, which meant he wasn't allowed to go back and take a shot which could have given the Bombers victory.

Essendon won by a point in round 20 last year at Etihad when Goodes missed a shot after the siren.