Sydney's returning cavalry and Buddy's 800th goal wasn't enough for the Swans to secure victory, easily brushed aside by 42 points on Saturday night.
A win would have given the Swans a chance at finishing top 4, but the loss has all but ruled out the Swans premiership hopes for 2017.
The Swans welcomed back Kurt Tippett, Isaac Heeney and Gary Rohan from injury, and handed out their 6th debut for the season to Lewis Melican.
The Swans burst out of the games, kicking the first 4 goals of the games with barely 5 minutes on the clock, without GWS having a disposal. It was an impressive start, with the Swans looking deadly up forward and irresistible in the midfield.
GWS battled their way back into the game, and five minutes later had the ascendency in play, and soon on the scoreboard. The Swans were struggling to work the ball out of defence, turning it over every time they worked it to half way.
Jeremy Cameron was threatening to blow the game wide open, kicking 3 points before Patton slotted their first major.
From that point on, the Swans struggled to work the ball into the forward line for the remainder of the half. Even though Franklin scored a long range point with Green and Johnson manning the run-around zone, GWS dominated. They kicked 4 goals in the last 8 minutes of the quarter, taking a 10 point lead into the first break.
Franklin kicked off the scoring in the 2nd quarter, 2 minutes in, with another behind, another long range shot. Then then Giants torched the Swans, dominating them in contested possessions, uncontested possessions, hit outs, clearances and inside 50s, even with the Swans at least 10 free kicks ahead.
The Giants easily controlled play for the rest of the quarter, with the Swans barely getting it past half-way, let alone out of their defensive 50. Johnson rubbed salt into the would with a stunning goal off the ground, and Devon Smith capped off 9 unanswered goals for the Giants in the closing moments of the first half.
Longmire must have fired a rocket up their collective asses, because they came out firing at the start of the 3rd quarter. Grundy copped an early knock to the back of the head, but the Swans went bang-bang with Rohan and Callum Sinclair kicking their first goals of the season.
The Swans were back within 20 points and the game was on. They'd lifted their work rate, gone one-on-one and shut down the space the Giants had, but no matter how hard they worked, the Giants always had answers.
Tomlinson goaled just a minute after Sinclairs, and while the game settled into the stalemate, Greene bobbed up and put the Giants back out to a 30 point lead.
Franklin put through his 799th goal and reduced the margin to 4 goals, and with the Swans full of run and a significant lift in intensity, it was expected that they would challenge in the last quarter.
But it was not to be. They were easily brushed aside, with the Giants kicking the first 4 goals before Franklin put through his 800th.
It was a disappointing night for the champion player and more so for the Swans, who impressed in patches but were not good enough. The Swans were lucky in the end, dominated on the scoreboard and in almost statistical category. The trademark pressure and tackle game looks almost extinct, with no pressure, work-rate or tackling from the midfield 4.
Heath Grundy copped a knock to the back and side of his head at the start of the 3rd quarter. He played out the match and is expected to line up against Carlton
The winless Swans travel to Melbourne to take on the hapless Blues. They challenged last year for half a game, and more will be expected this weekend. They're a decent outfit and would win games with a competent forward line.
|Greater Western Sydney
Franklin 3, Tippett, J. Kennedy, Papley, Rohan, Sinclair, Parker
Jones, Mills, Franklin, Lloyd
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