Sydney young gun Isaac Heeney has praised the side’s grit in Sunday’s win over Melbourne, saying the Swans “crashed in really hard” in the nine-point win at the MCG.
A rampant Demons outfit kicked a third goal in a row early in the second term to extend its lead to 18 points, before the Swans ran in 12 majors across the second and third quarters to pave the way for victory.
Melbourne snared three final-term goals and held Sydney to zero, but the Swans – despite being two men down for almost three quarters – would stave off the Demons to pocket back-to-back wins.
Heeney said winning in such testing circumstances made for a victory to remember.
“It was a good four-quarter performance from the boys,” Heeney told SwansTV post-match.
“We knew they were going to come and they’re one of the best attacking teams in the comp.
“We converted really well and we crashed in really hard. Both teams’ tackle percentage was right up there, so it was an impressive win and we’re extremely glad to get over the line in the end.”
Heeney has blossomed in the midfield alongside battle-hardened Swans Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker, Dan Hannebery and Kieren Jack across the past two seasons.
In 2015, his first season in red and white after graduating from the QBE Sydney Swans Academy the year prior, he burst on to the scene as an exciting small forward.
But the 22-year-old played an important role in defence as Sydney pushed hard to repel a fast-finishing Melbourne.
Just as he had in the thrilling two-point win over Collingwood the week prior, Heeney defused a number of dangerous Melbourne kicks sent fizzing inside 50 as the clock ran down.
He said the backline was a tense place to be.
“I was under the pump – we all were down there,” Heeney said.
“It’s a hard one – I don’t play down there too often.
“Getting down and taking a couple of marks and slowing down the tempo was good. I had to be clean, which I was, so that’s handy.”
A packed MCG looked on in disbelief as Sydney defender Alex Johnson suffered a suspected anterior crucial ligament rupture late in the opening term.
He had returned for his first senior match since the 2012 Grand Final in the Magpies clash a week earlier, completing a comeback from five knee reconstructions and a string of other surgeries.
Heeney said Johnson’s latest setback soured the win.
“It’s shattering,” Heeney said.
“It puts a bit of a dampener on the win, but his spirits are still high and we’ll be getting around him. He’s such an amazing fella, so it’s just heavy.”