Sydney has sent a statement to the rest of the competition with an impressive 19-point victory over the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
The Swans backed up their 92-point thumping over West Coast a week prior, completely stifling their opponents and taking complete control of the outside game (229-192 uncontested possessions) while out-marking their opponents by 56.
Coming home with their tenth win of the season not only puts them within a game of the top four but carries extra significance given New South Wales being declared a ‘red zone’ during the game – casting extra doubt over when Sydney can return home.
Jordan Dawson (26 disposals, three goals) and Jake Lloyd (33 disposals, 12 rebound 50s, nine marks) were sensational off half-back while Callum Mills (31 disposals, nine marks) continued his superb season in the middle.
Despite being right in the game for most of the contest, the Bulldogs were wasteful in key moments – squandering gilt-edged opportunities to get back into the game, ultimately missing a chance to go back on top of the ladder.
In a see-sawing opening quarter, both sides traded goals but the Swans’ control of the uncontested ball (75-37 in first quarter) allowed them to assert themselves on the contest – taking a slender six-point lead into the first break.
The Bulldogs railed but were unable to make the most of their chances in front of goal with Josh Bruce in particular missing a great chance to give them the lead.
Following the major break, the Swans’ stranglehold of the contest kept the home side at arm’s length before Luke Parker’s late snap extended the margin to 20.
After a brief Bulldogs final-quarter resistance and a couple near-chances, Lance Franklin finally broke his duck – putting the game to bed with his 977th career major.
This team just keeps surprising and delivering. Another huge win!
Emphatic win by @sydneyswans – giving fans in #sydneylockdown something to smile about 🔴⚪️😉
Great support from Swans fans in Melbourne 👏👏👏#AFLDogsSwans#afl#Bloods#sydneyswanspic.twitter.com/Ae8MZetoDs
Sydney coach John Longmire has praised his side’s leadership group, who helped comandeer their younger core to the stirring 19-point win.
The Swans, who face an indefinite stay in Victoria due to Sydney’s escalating COVID-19 outbreak and recent border closures, were able to stay the course and further solidify their credentials with the result.
With the game delicately poised for much of the contest, the Swans’ veterans along with their young core were able to step through the mire and help their team over the line.
“They’re getting some belief and fortunately we have a strong leadership group and strong core there that show the way and compete,” Longmire said.
“Our younger guys have been contributing and sometimes they’ve even more than just contributed, they’ve been playing really good footy so we are pleased with the last couple of weeks obviously,
“We’re up against the Giants next week, against a team who has had other similar challenges so we will get into that as well.”
Longmire as well, lauded their ability to match their opponents, in particular on the outside as they took it right to one of the competition’s benchmarks throughout the season to date.
“It was fantastic,” Longmire said post-game.
“We know that we have got to be right on your game to beat the Doggies… and they do all facets of the game really well so I thought it was a really well balanced game and seemed like a good game of footy.”
Sitting only four points outside the top four with six games to go, the Swans are right in the mix for a top-four berth having closed the gap on both Port Adelaide and Brisbane, who dropped points this weekend.
When quizzed on his thoughts about how far his side can go heading into the business end of the season, Longmire remained coy saying it’s too early to make a call on where they sit in the premiership hunt.
“Not at the moment,” Longmire said.
“We’ll review this one and get into next week, that’s the way I operate and we operate as a footy club… so it’s not for us to discuss,
“We operate best when we put one foot in front of the other and go about our business from week to week.”
With the game in the balance early, Jordan Dawson helped tip the scales in Sydney’s favour.
Not only was Dawson brilliant with his ball use off half-back, but he was equally prolific in front of goal, kicking three majors inside the opening quarter and a half to help build an early advantage following a see-sawing opening.
His third gave the Swans a fourth straight goal and a 17-point lead.
The Dogs couldn’t get the win for top draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (R) in his first AFL game. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
After weeks of biding his time in the VFL, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan finally made his much-anticipated debut.
The Bulldogs fans inside Marvel Stadium rose in anticipation each-time the ball came near the No. 1 draft pick as he used his large frame to impose himself aerially in the early stages of the contest with his dropped mark leading to a Caleb Daniel goal.
Unfortunately, his first game ended up without a first career victory and goal as he finished with six disposals and two marks.
It was a Joel Amartey party at Marvel Stadium.
In the dying moments of the second-term, Taylor Duryea’s casual kick across the face of goal was intercepted by Amartey’s foot – who cleverly volleyed the ball home with a finish straight from the wheelhouse of a striker at the Euros.
DOGS 3.2, 5.5, 6.6, 8.12 (60)
SWANS 4.2, 7.4, 9.8, 11.13 (79)
DOGS: Daniel, Macrae, Dale, Bontempelli, Smith
SWANS: Dawson, Lloyd, Mills, McCartin, Parker, McInerney
DOGS: Smith, Wallis, Richards, Daniel, Scott, Bruce, Young, English
SWANS: Dawson 3, Hayward 2, Florent, Bell, Heeney, Parker, Franklin, Amartey
VENUE: 24,817 @ Marvel Stadium
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
3: Jordan Dawson (SYD)
2: Jake Lloyd (SYD)
1: Caleb Daniel (WBD)
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