Match report: Swans inch closer to September action

The Swans put an end to the Giants dominating derby win streak, winning by 13 points on Saturday night, in perfect football conditions at Spotless stadium.

The Swans Giants rivalry has certainly taken on a fiery persona over the years, with the Giants often playing the role of antagonists.

It seemed to work for them the last three meetings, winning by an average margin of 40 points, but tonight, the Swans had their measure.

Four goals to Franklin lead the way for the Swans, in a best on ground performance, well supported by small forward Papley, who finished with three goals.

Pre-game

The Swans had no late withdrawals, while the Giants went into the game without Jeremy Cameron, while Tubby Johnson and Toby Greene came back in.

The game

Despite dominating the opening clinches and locking the ball inside their inside 50 for much of the first 8-10 minutes of play, the Giants failed to capitalise.

Toby Greene looked their most threatening forward, hitting the scoreboard twice, before a rushed behind gave the Giants an 8 point advantage.

It wasn't until the 11 minute mark of the first quarter that the Swans had their first score on the board through Jake Lloyd, from a Giant(s) turnover on the kick out, after Franklin's first shot on goal was agonisingly close.

Toby Greene was once again the thick of the action in the Giants forward line, kicking a blinder of a goal from the middle of the pack after a ball up.

With the Swans building and finding their way into the match, they levelled the scores through Papley's individual brilliance, this time another one of his smothers, and with the ball loose, kicked it off the ground for a goal.

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The Swans forward half pressure was telling, with almost all of their scores coming from turn overs.

The two teams traded behinds before captain Kennedy banged a goal home on the run late in the quarter to give the Swans the ascendency.

They weren't yet finished, with Dan Robinson the recipient of a free kick after the goal, with Phil Davis taking umbrage to Tom Papley's nuisance and throwing him to the ground.

It was a tight and tough contest, with the Giants well on top in clearances and inside 50s, but the Swans leading by 12 at the first break.

Jon Patton, well held by Grundy in the first quarter, out marked Lewis Melican and bagged his first goal of the game, bringing the margin back within a goal.

The Giants had a lot of the play in their half of the ground for the first 10 minutes, and even when the Swans got the ball forward, the Giants were good enough to lay important tackles.

Great work by Jack and Rohan found Luke Parker one-out near the goal square against Corr, who he worked out of the contest, marked and kicked a goal after playing on.

The Giants were dominating in clearances, especially centre clearances with the opening 7 of the game, yet had scored just 1 point.

While they had plenty of the ball, they were ineffective once they moved the ball within 60 metres of goal, with the Swans defence superb and well on top.

Kieren Jack was having a superb game in the midfield with his two-way running a feature of the Swans style, with 5 tackles to half-time, 2 behind the leader Dan Robinson on 7.

Franklin had his first goal of the game with 5 minutes left on the clock, which all started with a Kieren Jack tackle that caused a turn over and Papley's short pass into Franklin.

The Giants had 27 inside 50s before half time for just three goals, while the Swans were scoring on nearly every opportunity.

Franklin won a holding free kick on the 50m arc and kicked truly for his 2nd of the quarter, extending the lead to 23 points.

Unfortunately the Swans couldn't hold on with the Giants scoring two red-time goals, a brilliant shot by Kelly in the pocked, following up Tom Scully's earlier goal.

The Swans kicked off the third quarter the way they finished the first half, winning the ball early and scoring three early behinds, before former captain Kieren Jack scored his first of the match.

Despite great Swans forward half pressure and numerous rebounds, the Giants hit back through Patton with his 2nd goal of the match.

The Swans hit back straight away through Hannebery after a great chase down tackle on Williams, with him holding the ball, pretty amazing considering Williams is one of their fastest players.

The Giants reduced the margin once again just minutes later through Josh Kelly, before the Swans extended the lead back out to 20 points through Nic Newman's behind and a superb Zak Jones goal.

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But once again, the Giants hit back in red time, dragging the margin back to 13 points, despite dominating most of the quarter.

The Giants drew first blood in the last quarter through Chubby Johnson, and while the butterflies were certainly there in the stomach, Franklin's first of the quarter put an end to any doubts.

Despite the absurdity of the goal, hitting it from 55m out on the boundary line in the left pocket, the AFL didn't even add it to Twitter as part of their highlights.

Gary Rohan had another behind from long range, before another turnover from the Giants resulted in a long inside 50 kick by Towers, marked by Papley in the goal square.

He obligingly goaled and extended the lead back out to 19 points with 13 minutes game time left to play.

The two teams went score for score, trading behinds before trading goals, with Mumford kicking his first of the game, before Franklin was the recipient of a lucky free kick to bag his fourth from long range.

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The Giants weren't giving up and Shane Mumford had his 2nd goal of the quarter to give them a sniff with little over 6 minutes remaining, but it was Tom Papley that snuffed the danger with his third for the match with just under 3 minutes remaining.

Franklin, with three to beat, made it look easy, won the ball and dished it off to Papley, who ran in and drilled it home from close range.

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Despite the best efforts of the Giants, and a final goal to Devon Smith to once again narrow the margin, the Swans were victorious in the end.

Lance Franklin finished with 4.4, 18 disposals and 8 marks, was jointly awarded with Giants captain Callan Ward best on field.

John Longmire spoke after the game, praising Franklin's pressure and defensive work.

"He kicked some important goals, there's no doubt about that," Longmire said.

"But some of his contests tonight, in an outnumbered situation, like bringing the ball to ground (were just as good).

"He was outnumbered in the air, flew at it really hard and brought the ball to ground. He's just a massive competitor and you saw that shine through as the game wore on."

Medical room

Gary Rohan reached for his hamstring in the third quarter, but played out the rest of the match without incident.

Sam Reid struggled through the match with a tight groin, unable to turn, sprint of leap for most of the match.

Next up

The Swans take on the not-so-inform Saints at the SCG next Saturday night for the 2nd pride match of the season.

The Saints will be smarting after their comprehensive loss to Essendon, and the Swans will need to be at their best if they're going to win the match.

Sydney Swans
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Greater Western Sydney
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Goals: Franklin 4, Papley 3, Lloyd, Kennedy, Robinson, Parker, K.Jack, Hannebery, Jones

Best: Franklin, Jack, Hannebery, Jones, Parker, Kennedy, Papley, Grundy

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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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