Following their swoon in the first six rounds of the 2017 Toyota AFL Premiership competition, the Sydney Swans have arisen, Phoenix-like, to win seven of their last eight and give indications that their graceful composure could have them well-poised for the run home.
That sentence completely exhausted our limited supply of avian metaphors, but we will, for now at least, resist the temptations to switch this article to North Melbourne, even though our supply of kangaroo metaphors is far from inexhaustible.
The Swans survived a round 14 scare against the Bombers, coming away with a win by the narrowest of margins, one point, and then went into Melbourne to dispose of the Dees by 35.
If they can take care of business against the Gold Coast Suns in round 16, they can focus on the round 17 hurdle against league leading Greater Western Sydney Giants, which could be the season defining match for the Swans.
After that, they have the St. Kilda Saints, the team currently holding the last spot in the finals.
After a round 19 match against the Hawthorn Hawks, who will be playing as though their lives depended on it, they have the Cats, who may have an appetite for canary that might be sated by swan.
The Swans also have the Adelaide Crows on the fixture; so to say that the Swans’ run home might be one of the toughest on the AFL fixture would be at least in the running for an understatement.
Of any of the sides not in the eight currently, the Swans have by far the best percentage, with an attack that it more than adequate and a stingy defense that ranks third in the league, which should come in handy when they have to face to-scoring sides, including, but not limited to, the Giants and the Crows.
Left for dead after launching the season with six straight losses, Sydney has put together streaks of three wins and four consecutive since coming off their bye.