SEN Breakfast hosts Tim Watson and Garry Lyon, along with St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt, have all tipped the Sydney Swans to miss the eight this year.
Essendon great Watson put the question to Riewoldt: “Why have you got them missing the eight?”
“I just think there’s a tipping point for all teams,” responded Riewoldt. ”I feel like they’ve probably reached it.
“Their form in the latter half of last year. Some of the games that they lost that you would never see them lose – Gold Coast at home (for example).
“(They’re) incredibly reliant on (Lance) Franklin to kick their goals.
“I just think there’s a tipping point for all teams and they might be at it.”
Former Melbourne captain Lyon has some worries about the usually reliable Swans defence.
“I’m concerned about their back half. (Heath) Grundy’s been a pillar for that footy side for a long, long time,” he said.
“There were signs… he had some health issues where he didn’t play for a while. I thought that might have been the end of him. The fact that they pushed so hard to get him back said to me that they’re a bit concerned.
“(Lewis) Melican is the one that they hope can come in and do that role.”
“I’ve played on him, he’s a good player,” added Riewoldt.
“Can he play key position?” asked Lyon.
“I think so. Maybe not on the monsters.”
“That’s my concern,” said Lyon. “I’m just not sure who’s gonna do that for them.”
Watson raised some queries on their scoring power, should spearhead Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin not be available to play.
“(Buddy has) got to be an injury concern. Not only in the early part of the year, right throughout the year,” Watson said.
“If he doesn’t play, they’re going to have to rely on Sam Reid… he’s had his issues over the years.
“(Callum) Sinclair (could be an option) possibly as a tall forward.
“They’ve got a lot of good small players in their forward line. You still need some big guys down there who are going to be able to clunk the ball, and have these (small) guys play off them.
“Without Buddy you just can’t see them kicking big scores.”
The Swans open their 2019 season against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Saturday March 23.