Match report: Silky Swans put Dangerless Cats to the sword

On Friday night the Swans sent an emphatic message to the competition, that they're far from done and they're in it to win it.

The impressive 46 point win, was set up by another 7 goal opening quarter, with Franklin having little to no impact throughout the match.

Without Kennedy in the side for the first time this season, Parker stepped up and lead in style, the best player on the ground, and was well supported by fellow midfielder Dan Hannebery.

With so much on the line, a win necessary to stay in touch with not only the top 4, but the top 8, the Swans conquered on a ground so few have done so before.

The Swans opening quarter score was the highest by an away team since Hawthorn's 8 goal effort in 1986, 31 years, and the final margin, 46 points, was the highest since Hawthorn in 2006.

Pre-match

The Swans made four changes to the team that lost to Hawthorn in round 19, brining in Kurt Tippett, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan and Jake Lloyd, with Dan Robinson (omit), Jordan Foote (omit), Sam Naismith (hip) and Josh Kennedy (hamstring) making way.

The game

The Swans struggled to get their hands on the ball in the opening 5 minutes, with Geelong having all the play.

But for all their dominance, all they could manage was a goal and a point, as the Swans started their opening quarter rampage.

In the blink of an eye, the Swans had the lead off the back of 3 inside 50s, 5 kicks and 3 goals, quite un-Swans like football from recent times.

That's as efficient as football will ever get, and it happened in the space of 3 minutes.

Sam Reid kicked the first goal for the Swans, after Hawkins gave away a 50 metre penalty, and marked long against Stewart just 40 metres out.

The next, Luke Parker won a free kick at the centre bounce, went long, a Sam Reid free kick was given advantage and Papley shinned it across the goal line; 2 goals, 2 marks, 3 kicks.

The next goal started with Sinclair winning the centre clearance and going wide towards the boundary.

Through great tackling from Franklin and Parker, the Swans locked the ball inside their forward 50, and Parker was eventually awarded a free kick against Parfitt for holding the ball.

Seeing nothing ahead, he hit it long and it sailed through the posts, much to the shock of just about everyone at the ground and the commentators. Ridiculous.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893413032142839808

In the space of just 90 seconds on the clock, the game had been turned on its head, 3 goals from 5 kicks (6 if you include Jack's inside 50).

The Swans were far from done as the Cats struggled their way back into the match, with Sam Reid kicking a point minutes later, touched across the line by Henderson after a shocking Cats turnover.

Hayward had his first of the night with a clever snap over his shoulder, after deplorable kicking and even worse defensive play.

Papley had his second of the night a short time later, snapping a ruck clearance brilliantly over his shoulder, with the commentary team immediately drawing comparisons to Ben McGlynn.

It capped off a superb 6 minute passage of play for the Swans, despite having less disposals, managed to score 5.2 to the Cats 0.0.

Sydney Swans: Sydney Swans: From 16:07 to 10:22 in the first quarter

I even had to watch the replay and count the stats, that's just how ridiculous it was, with Hamish on the commentary team repeatedly saying the Swans had kicked 4 goals 2 from just 20 disposals.

The Cats got another one back through another snap entry inside their 50 with Zac Smith standing in the right place, but it didn't stop the Swans from surging again.

Anything Parker can do, Hannebery can do better, with a ridiculous goal in traffic, snapping on his left when he had no space or right to do it.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893415985947869184

But the Swans still weren't done, after a run of behinds from both teams with Franklin and Heeney hitting the scoreboard, while Zac Smith missed a gettable shot from the same position he kicked his goal.

Sam Reid took his 2nd contested mark of the quarter and kicked his 2nd goal after flooring Scott Selwood just outside the goal square in a fair contest, with the parochial local crowd booing their loudest of the night as Reid sauntered in and tried to boot the ball out of the stadium.

Papley had a chance to kick his 3rd of the night after the siren, put could only drag it left.

It was a ridiculous first quarter, with Geelong leading in many stat categories, but being absolutely pantsed on the scoreboard and trailing once again by a big margin.

From the sixth minute of the opening term, the Swans recorded 23 more forward half disposals, 10 more inside 50s and outscored the Cats by 39 points.

The Cats started off the second quarter much the same way they did the first, full of run and a significant step up in pressure.

The easy ball the Swans found themselves having at times was no longer there, and both teams were forced into making interchanges for the blood rule.

Tom Hawkins will no doubt be suspended again for a ridiculous passage of play that saw him whack Mills in the chest and jumper punch Rampe, the same one he's been suspended twice before.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893423088506814467

After Murdoch kicked the first point, the Swans would break the deadlock 10 minutes later, almost half-way through the quarter, through Gary Rohan.

The Cats found a quick reply after the Rohan goal through Hawkins, getting one out the back while Grundy was off the ground.

The tight tussle had certainly collected more than one victim, with full back Heath Grundy off the ground for an extended period of time fixing a cut above his eye.

The Cats were well on top for more than half the quarter, dominating possessions, territory, and locking the ball inside their half for significant periods.

Their dominance and pressure was telling and they finally put it on the scoreboard, with goals through Menegola and Hawkins, while Grundy was still off the ground.

The Cats were threatening to cause a boil over on their own plot, but an ankle injury to captain Joel Selwood in a marking contest with Smith and Tippett put an end to their comeback.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893427071745089536

Already missing Dangerfield and their other midfielders well down, the Swans took control of the match, booting the last two goals of the quarter.

Rohan was the beneficiary of another Swans charge up the field, with the ball spilling out the back he ran in, bounced and drilled it home underneath the arm of the flailing defender.

Minutes later Franklin scored the last goal of the half, gathering a spilled ball from a contest on the Swans 50 metre arc, before taking two steps and banging it home.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893426758170451968

The Swans regained the ascendency and lead late in the quarter and took 29 point lead into the major break, with Parker dominating in the midfield.

The third quarter was as much an arm wrestle as you're ever likely to see, with both sides struggling to put scoreboard pressure on, despite opportunities.

Geelong had the early running, and with Selwood back on the field leading the way, they scored the first goal of the 2nd half through Parsons.

It was particularly unlucky for Rampe, with an particularly unkind bounce leaving him flat footed with little chance of stopping the goal.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893433501038460928

The Cats were well on top for the first half of the third quarter, with significant amount of time spent in their forward half, while leading in disposals and clearances for the quarter.

But it was a bit like watching Geelong channel their inner Hawthorn of last week, with Menegola missing two very gettable chances, and many others going begging.

Hawkins who was such a threat in the first half with his three goals, was finding it very tough going, with Grundy getting the upper hand.

Luke Parker had a chance to kick the Swans first goal of the quarter, but pushed it right and could only manage a behind.

He was certainly leading the way for the Swans, with four forward half tackles in the quarter alone, with nine tackles for the game, six more than any other Swan.

Newman capitalised on slack defending after Hayward marked on the 50m arc to push the lead back past four goals, but was immediately answered by Guthrie with his first of the night.

Two more behinds for the Swans extended the lead to 25 points, with a tight tussle expected in the last quarter.

However, it was the Swans who went bang, straight out of the blocks, with the first clearances of the quarter and Rohan picking out Hannebery with a superb pass.

He stepped up and put it through and while the local parochial's were booing, they were suddenly up in arms with the Swans getting another bite at the cherry.

Tom Papley was floored off the ball by Duncan, who'll surely cop a whack from the MRP for an unnecessary punch to the solar plexes off the ball.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/893443141373579264

Papley stepped up and sprayed it right, but not before the umpire had called for an infringement and 50m penalty.

Papley smashed it through and the crowd went nuts; Cats fans screaming and yelling and started streaming out, while confused Swans fans were cheering, and the cheer squad got back to singling their ole's.

The rest of the quarter petered out without much incident, with Gary Rohan missing a set shot in front of the cheer squad and Joel Selwood leaving the field for the rest of the game.

Isaac Heeney kicked a ridiculous goal on the boundary line after sauntering in, while Will Hayward put the icing on a Kieren Jack shot, as close to an alley hoop as you'll ever see.

Soccer fans would have loved that tap-in assist.

Selwood and Menegola continued to trade behinds, before Menegola snapped one over his shoulder to reduce the margin.

The Swans weren't done, with Sinclair and Towers combining to put Hayward into space, and he duly ran in and banged it home from 30 metres out.

The crowd was in raptures at the final siren, the Swans continuing their dominating streak over the Cats and consigning them to another loss.

The win sets up a race for fourth, with Richmond, Adelaide and Port Adelaide yet to play.

Medical room

Kurt Tippett suffered a hip knock and a rolled ankle in the 2nd quarter. After treatment he played out the rest of the match.

Next up

The Swans host Fremantle in what's shaping to be a crucial top-6 clash, with a win solidifying their position and opening up a chance to finish top 4 in the final rounds.

Captain Josh Kennedy will return to the side and the question will certainly be, who for?

Sydney Swans
7.510.511.916.11107
Geelong Cats
2.35.67.88.1361

Goals: Papley 3, Hayward 3, Reid 2, Rohan 2, Hannebery 2, Parker, Heeney, Franklin, Newman

Best: Parker, Papley, Hannebery, Reid, Rampe, Newman, McVeigh, Sinclair

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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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