SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 03: Tom Papley of the Swans watches on during the round 20 AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Sydney Swans at GIANTS Stadium on August 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos via Getty Images )

Tom Papley has hit out at comments made about Swans teammate Lance Franklin at last night's tribunal hearing, in which members of the AFL's legal team labelled the actions of the 328-game star as "cowardly."

Hoping to overturn a one-match ban for a strike on Richmond's Trent Cotchin, the Swans were left disappointed when the decision was upheld, with both legal teams pushing the limits on what was a strange night at the tribunal.

"It's an element of luck that Cotchin does not sustain a more serious injury," AFL counsel Andrew Woods said on the incident between the two.

"It's precisely what a professional AFL player should know what not to do.

"It's brazen, it's cowardly and the opposing player isn't expecting that to happen to him."

Papley took aim at those comments when speaking to media on Wednesday, stating that the words used were unnecessary.

"What he's done over his career speaks for itself," Papley said.

"He made a mistake and everyone makes mistakes but those comments probably aren’t needed, I don’t think."

With Franklin set to sit out the highly anticipated clash against Melbourne on Saturday night, Papley is confident the Swans' forward line still has the ability to overpower an undermanned Demons defence.

"It’s obviously disappointing but in previous years we’ve actually done well without him. Will Hayward’s kicking goals, Isaac Heeney, Sam Reid last week kicked three. I’m confident the boys can get the system going without him," Papley said.

"We played them last year at the MCG and we were 10 points off them. We were in the game the whole game and provided pressure. It was a bit like a finals game and we’re expecting the same this week."

The Swans will be searching for their eighth win of the season on Saturday night, currently sitting in 7th position as the race for a top-eight spot begins to heat up.