Sydney Swans coach John Longmire has heaped praise on "class player" Isaac Heeney after the gun forward returned from a week on the sidelines to kick three goals as the Swans beat Collingwood by 30 points.
Heeney missed the nine-point loss to Melbourne last week when he felt soreness in the right ankle that he injured badly and had surgery on last year.
The week off also gave Heeney time to better recover from a broken right hand sustained in the round four clash with Essendon that remarkably only forced him to miss one match.
The 25-year-old returned to kick three goals and gather 22 disposals, with his polish with ball in hand and competitiveness in the forward half helping the Swans overrun the fast-starting Magpies.
"He was really sore last week. If he was feeling fit he certainly could've made a difference for us. But he needed the week off, his ankle was sore and he was banged up in a few areas," Longmire said.
"We're just hopeful that he can stay like that. He's energetic, his workrate is fantastic, he's a class player.
"We had a couple of players that provided that energy, whether around the scramble or in the forward 50, and that allowed us to get back in the game, and Isaac with his class finishing certainly helps."
Heeney’s influence in the Swans’ forward line was crucial as Lance Franklin’s impact was reduced as part of an intriguing match-up with the Magpies’ 189cm defender Brayden Maynard.
Franklin spent much of the game playing away from the goal-square, with Maynard following the superstar forward whenever he ventured further up the field.
Franklin finished the day with two goals from 12 disposals, while Maynard collected 29 disposals with eight intercepts and 10 rebound 50s.
The Swans’ young tall forward Hayden McLean was often stationed closer to goal and opposed to the Pies’ Darcy Moore.
"It's usually the opposition defenders that dictate who the match ups are on. They might've been keen for Moore to play that intercepting marking role, he took 19 marks last week, so we were conscious of that and reducing his effectiveness,” Longmire said.
"It was important for us to make sure that Moore in particular wasn't able to take those intercepting marks and rebound effectively.”