Match report: Swans overcome slow start to block out the Suns

The Swans on Saturday night overcame a slow, sluggish start to the game, to race home to victory, lead by Dan Hannebery in the absence of captain Josh Kennedy.

Sydney conceded five goals in the opening quarter before shutting out the Suns for two and half quarters.

The Swans improved their percentage yet again and moved up to 6th on the ladder, while the Suns slipped out of finals contention, on a night when they felt the absence of their midfield.

Pre-game

With the Swans threatening to go into the game unchanged for the first time since round 21 last season, captain Josh Kennedy was a late withdrawal with quad tightness.

The game

The Suns had the first opportunities of the game through early pressure in their forward line, but an unperturbed Swans side swung into action, and had the first of the game through Lance Franklin.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/883580670622052352

It wasn't long before the Suns were back in the action, and after repeat entries and pressure on the Swans defence, they forged two goals through Martin and Lynch.

Sloppy play and uncharacteristic turnovers marred the early part of the Swans game, even though the Swans hit back through Rohan twice to take the lead.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/883584296799174657

They were intercepting well with 7-0 half-way through the quarter, Rampe leading the way with two.

With the Swans being beaten around the contests, the Suns had the next on the board through Swallow, but the Swans answered back through Franklin just minutes later as they took the ascendency back.

But with just mere minutes left in the quarter, Suns' forward Tom Lynch bagged the last two goals of the quarter to take the lead into quarter time.

It was their best every first quarter effort against the Swans, who were well beaten around the contests for much of the first quarter.

Any lingering thoughts of an upset were put to bed shortly into the second quarter.

Despite the Suns' hassle, chasing, and tackling pressure, two goals to George Hewett and one to Sam Reid in 5 minutes put the Suns firmly in the rear view mirror.

From there the Swans piled on the misery, as the Suns struggled to not only get possession of the ball, but move it anywhere.

Two more goals to Gary Rohan in the space of six minutes, with Dean Towers splitting the difference with a goal of his own, ended the contest, as the Swans booted 6 goals to zip for the quarter and took a 5 goal lead into half-time.

It didn't take long for the Swans to pick up where they left off in the third quarter, with Lance Franklin putting his third on the scoreboard and extending the Swans lead.

It wasn't long before Gary Rohan had his fifth for the night, causing all sorts of problems for the Suns defence, before the wasteful Swans of old reared their ugly heads.

A scrappy and poor quality patch of football ensued, with neither team capable of hitting targets inside their forward 50, while the Swans scramble netted just three behinds.

Dean Towers with his second of the night put an end to the inaccuracy, kicking a great goal after an unbelievably scrappy passage of play, that summed up the Swans third quarter.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/883607806519029761

The Swans weren't quite finished for the quarter, with hard nut midfielder Zak Jones kicking the Swans fourth and last goal for the quarter in the closing stages.

It was another dominant quarter for the Swans, kicking 4.5, while keeping the Suns scoreless.

Since kicking their fifth goal in the first quarter, the Swans had kicked 10 goals straight to lead by 58 points.

The Swans started their fourth quarter where they left off in the third, with Papley goalling in the opening minute, after superb play by Gary Rohan to keep the ball moving, rather than having a snap at goal.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/883609927607926784

Two behinds to Lance Franklin followed before Zak Jones had his 2nd goal of the night, before the Suns finally started hitting the scoreboard again, almost a quarter and a half since their last score.

After Jones's goal, the Swans were scoreless for almost 20 minutes, with the Suns kicking their first goal since the end of the first quarter, two and a half quarters in total.

Lewis Melican, the impressive young defender, kicked his first goal in AFL football after great play from the Swans forward lead to a Suns turnover.

He was mobbed by all of his team mates bar Heath Grundy, and it was a great sight to see.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/883614559365234694

Two metre Peter bagged the last goal of the game a short time after Melican's goal, while Gary Rohan missed a chance to kick his sixth.

After a barnstorming first half, kicking 10.5 and leading by 32 points, the Swans returned to their wasteful worst, kicking 7.11, while the Suns barely troubled the scoreboard with 2.3.

After the match, John Longmire said that the first quarter was not the way the Swans wanted to play.

"I thought we got off to a slow start, got beaten around the contest, and obviously didn’t play the footy we wanted to play," Longmire said.

"Credit to Gold Coast they started really well, but we cranked it up a fair bit after quarter-time which was good.

"I just gave them a reminder to be on edge all the time, it’s about making sure you go hard all the time.

"It’s not easy to play four quarters of really hard, strong football every week, I acknowledge that, but we’ve got to make sure we continue to do it."

Medical room

Zak Jones suffered a corked thigh early in the match but played out the game.

Josh Kennedy was withdrawn before the start of the match with quad tightness.

Next up

The Swans take on former table-toppers and cross town rivals, Greater Western Sydney, in a potential Derby classic on Saturday night.

The Swans will be aiming to climb higher into the top 8 and stay within touch of the top four, while GWS will be looking to bounce back from consecutive draws.

Sydney Swans
4.310.514.1017.16118
Gold Coast Suns
5.25.65.67.951

Goals: Rohan 5, Franklin 3, Hewett 2, Towers 2, Jones 2, Reid, Papley, Melican

Best: Rohan, Rampe, Parker, Franklin Lloyd, Grundy, Jack, Towers

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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