Franklin revels in having new goalkicking buddy
A rejuvenated Lance Franklin and the Swans' return to form will reignite one of the AFL's greatest modern-day rivalries when they take on Hawthorn next up.
The bye week arrives at the right time for the Swans, allowing the injury-dogged Franklin the chance to regroup after Sunday's 45-point hammering of the West Coast Eagles before taking on Franklin's former club, Hawthorn, on June 21.
Sydney go into the Hawks clash hunting as a pack. The Swans forward line fired as a group against the West Coast Eagles, with their 13 goals the sort of performance that will put pressure on any defence in the competition.
Franklin and Tom Papley both kicked five goals against West Coast, with Sam Reid chipping in three.
"It comes from the midfield getting on top and they were able to do that and then we just do our thing up forward," Franklin, 32, said. "We want all different options up forward."
Franklin's return to top form is timely given the superstar has struggled to reproduce his best
football against his old club.
Since joining the Swans in 2014, Franklin has kicked just 21 goals in nine games against Hawthorn - with the Swans winning just three of those clashes.
Franklin got the party started against the Eagles with a major inside the first minute and then completed the day by finding the target after the final siren - his 19th goal of the season.
You can also add 18 disposals and nine marks to that total.
"We played some really good football and scored over 100 points, which we hadn't done for quite a while, so it was a good win," Franklin added of Sunday's win.
At one stage, injuries left the Swans light with bench options, and they had to dig deep for victory.
"For us to grind out a win and score over 100 points with three down on the bench is just an amazing effort," he said.
"We've always had confidence in what we do and in our ability, which is important. It was just about everyone playing consistent, a four quarter effort."
Papley's five-goal haul took his tally to 21 for the season.
"He's been super all year." Franklin said. "It's really important we have different avenues for goal and different threats.
"For him to kick over 20 goals already going into the bye is a super effort. Just got to maintain that after the break and who knows what can happen after that."
With little or no pre-season and then a hamstring tear ruling him out for several weeks, only now do you sense Franklin's campaign is beginning to roll.
"I was able to get on the track for the past couple of weeks which is important and you get your confidence from that," Franklin said.
"My body's holding up well, look forward to a nice little break now and then come back after the break and take on the Hawks."
And with West Coast sent packing, Franklin wants the SCG to once again become a fortress for the home side.
"We've lost a few games here and we really want to make sure at our home ground we make it hard for opposition teams to come up here and win," he said.
"So we're back on track in terms of that. They're the premiers last year. For us to beat them like that is really, really good."
The win over West Coast didn't come without cost, with the likes of Colin O'Riordan, Jackson Thurlow (both head knocks) and Jarrad McVeigh (hamstring) in the wars, the bye should allow Josh Kennedy and Zak Jones to get themselves absolutely right before entering the fray again.
"It'll be nice to get the captain back," Franklin said.