Kennedy twisted his left knee when tackling Marlion Pickett in the first quarter, injuring his medial ligament, and took no further part in the game. Heeney’s injury further weakens a forward line that has struggled to kick goals in recent weeks.
At a time when their depth is being severely tested Damien Hardwick’s men, missing seven of their premiership side from last year, met a team that was also depleted.
The result? The second lowest-scoring game of the AFL era and one which will do little to dissuade fans from the belief the game was better in years gone by.
The match was not saved either by a grandstand finish as the Swans never appeared capable of pinching the points.
With superstar spearhead Lance Franklin and centre half-forward Sam Reid in a casualty ward dominated by their taller players, the Swans did not have the tall timber to take the game on.
Nor would it have been a wise move against a Tigers team which preys on sides which bomb long to their well organised defence.
Left standing in the gates, the Swans were able to play the game on their terms in the middle two quarters. They held on to the ball, chipping to spare men to avoid putting the game into the chaos mode which allows Richmond to choke sides.
It restricted the Tigers’ scoring but did not give them much chance of scoring either. Seldom was Richmond’s defence put under meaningful pressure by the Swans, who did not have the skill to match their endeavour.
The Swans have kicked just 14 goals from their past three games – and their score of 26 was their lowest since round 13 in 1988.
For the Tigers, it was their third game under 40 since the resumption of the season and while on this occasion it was a winning total they will struggle to win many more matches with such a tally.
Forward Tom Lynch defied the odds to play just days after undergoing surgery on his hand, but apart from a goal in the third term did not have an impact on the game. To be fair, this was not a game for high-marking forwards.
The Swans’ ruck deficiencies were laid bare, managing just five hit-outs to Richmond’s 32. At times, the 192cm Jordan Dawson, who normally plays on a half-back flank, was pitted in the ruck against Mabior Chol.
RICHMOND 3.3 3.5 4.7 4.10 (34)
SYDNEY 1.3 2.3 2.5 3.8 (26)
GOALS – Richmond: Bolton, Martin, Lynch, Riewoldt.
Sydney: Papley 2, Rowbottom.
BEST – Richmond: Lambert, McIntosh, Short, Baker, Grimes, Vlastuin.
Sydney: Lloyd, Mills, Rampe, Papley.
INJURIES – Sydney: Kennedy (knee), Heeney (ankle).
UMPIRES: Stevic, Gavine, Gianfagna
CROWD: 3606 at the Gabba.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald