Josh Kennedy says the loss to Western Bulldogs hurts more than their 2014 capitulation
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Sydney are reeling from grand-final heartbreak for the second time in three AFL seasons, with Josh Kennedy admitting Saturday's loss hurts more than their 2014 capitulation.
Kennedy was inspirational for the Swans on Saturday, tallying a game-high 34 disposals and booting three goals at the MCG.
The big-bodied midfielder finished second in Norm Smith medal voting but was unable to deny Western Bulldogs victory.
The Swans were either in front on the scoreboard or within striking distance until late in the fourth quarter.
Kennedy was distraught in the rooms, detailing how the topsy-turvy tussle represented a more painful defeat than the 63-point thumping dished out by Hawthorn in the 2014 season decider.
"Straight after the game it probably hurt a little bit more (than 2014) because I felt we had a chance," Kennedy said.
"We were having a crack and at critical moments in the game they stood up and we didn't.
"The feeling is probably worse."
Kennedy was responsible for two of the Swans' four consecutive goals in the second quarter, when they threatened to bust the low-scoring game open.
But the Bulldogs, as has been the case so many times this year, rallied.
"Credit to the Bulldogs they were just a little bit more consistent over the four quarters ... they hurt us on our turnovers," Kennedy said.
"It was certainly a hard-fought game. Every possession was certainly well earned, for both sides. They just got on top of us a bit in that area, in contested footy."
Kennedy had no complaints about the umpires, who awarded the Bulldogs 20 free kicks compared to Sydney's eight.
The on-baller admitted Dan Hannebery's leg injury, which forced him from the field early in the fourth quarter, was a big blow.
"I didn't realise (it happened at the time) but it definitely would have hurt us," Kennedy said.
"He's an amazing runner and his inside contested footy is elite too, so it certainly would have dented our chances."
Lance Franklin, who hurt his ankle early in the game but played on, has now played in two losing grand finals since joining the Swans on a nine-year deal worth $10 million.
"Buddy always tries his absolute hardest and doesn't leave anything out there. You know what you're going to get from him in that regard," Franklin said.
"He really had a crack and I'm happy for that."