SYDNEY is set to be without ruckman Peter Ladhams after the former Port Adelaide big man broke his thumb in the Swans’ win over the Western Bulldogs.
Ladhams had been rucking well before he sustained the injury in the second quarter on Friday night, with coach John Longmire confirming post-game the 24-year-old’s setback.
“He’s broken his thumb unfortunately. He said to me the ball hit on the end of his thumb so he’ll have to have surgery I’d say,” Longmire said.
SWANS v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats
In Ladhams’ absence, Sam Reid put in a sterling performance for the Swans by having 15 disposals (all contested), laying 13 tackles and having 25 hitouts, in a showing that Longmire said typified his side’s important win.
“It was built on the back of our enormous pressure. [We had] 88 tackles, (Callum) Mills had 16, ‘Reidy’ had 13, we had high pressure acts across the board and just played a really strong pressure game of footy,” Longmire said.
“We had 35 scoring shots but it was off the back of enormous pressure we were able to sustain for the entire game and that was a real positive.
“We’ve arrested [the slow starts] a little bit over the last few weeks and we’ve been able to get out of the blocks but it was just pressure. Once we were able to hit the scoreboard we just kept on with that enormous pressure.”
It overwhelmed the Bulldogs, who are on the cusp of missing the finals after last year’s Grand Final defeat to Melbourne. They face a gruelling final stretch of games, including clashes against St Kilda, Melbourne and Geelong in the next three weeks and are a long way off their best.
Coach Luke Beveridge saw his side blown away in the opening term, when the Swans kicked seven goals to two and had 15 scoring shots by quarter-time.
“We got taught a lesson in that first quarter and there’s not many positives to come out of the night unfortunately. The Swannies were right on their best pressure mettle and we couldn’t wriggle our way through it,” Beveridge said.
“We were flattered [by the scoreline] and pretty lucky to kind of still be in the game. Overall there’s not a lot of positives to come out of tonight.”
The defeat leaves the Dogs likely to be two wins outside the top eight at the end of this round, with Beveridge lamenting his team’s downfall at an important juncture of the season.
“There’s a lot riding on every week that you play in this game because you’re playing for your own identity, you’re playing for your supporters, you’re playing for each other, you’re trying to establish and exhibit a brand that you’re proud of,” Beveridge said.
“And largely throughout the course you want to have something you can look back on, hang your hat on and continue to progress from. Tonight’s one of those nights that you walk away from and none of that happened for us.
“That’s on us. It’s a credit to the opposition, but it’s on us that we weren’t ready for that onslaught early in the game.”