As far as losses go, this is about as tough as it gets. The Swans now sit 0-6, having lost their last 7 matches, including the grand final, and were just brushed aside by a hungry, desperate, Carlton team, the same one that we thumped last year.
Putting aside last years' game, putting the Blues to the sword in the 2nd half and securing a 60 point win, the Swans hardly looked up for the match. Their trade mark dash was almost non-existent, nor was their outside spread and pace on display.
It was tough to stomach at the ground, and while they kept their noses in front for the first half, they never really looked in control, and it was more a case of Carlton making mistakes, than the Swans forcing them into mistakes.
The Swans made 3 changes during the week, bringing in Laidler, Brandon Jack, Newman and for Kieren Jack (hip), Marsh (hamstring) and Jordan Foote (omit).
The Swans were forced to make a change before the game, with James Rose coming in for Kurt Tippet, who had injured his hip in training earlier in the week.
Arriving late to the game, I just missed kick off, picking up my Swans paraphernalia no less. However, I later learned that Franklin will be looked at on Monday for a big of argy-bargy with Sam Rowe before the first bounce, giving away a free kick for a little lip tickler, the silly boy.
The Swans started off well with good pressure and the boys looking ready to play. It was a nervy first quarter, with both teams making plenty of mistakes, and keen to control the ball. Carlton were better at controlling it at times, and I nicked off for a steak sandwich about two thirds of the way through, just missing Hannebery's goal. Before that, Hayward put through his first of the game and the Swans' first.
Rounding out the first quarter, Kennedy put through a good captains goal from the 50m arc after good pressure from the Swans, and they went into quarter time with an 11 point lead. The younger Swan players were up and about, with Lloyd, Jones, Heeney, Hewett and Mills contributing, while Hannebery and Kennedy looked like they had shaken loose the cobwebs.
The game settled into an arm wrestle in the 2nd quarter, with Kade Simpson breaking the dead lock 5 minutes in. Franklin hit back straight away with a fantastic goal in the left pocked, trade mark Franklin.
The Blues heaped on the pressure, with Casboult and Kruezer working their way on top, despite the best efforts of Sinclair and Reid. Casboult was an unstoppable beast in their forward line, leading Laidler, Grundy and Sinclair to the ball repeatedly, and eventually punished the Swans.
The Blues were on top in general play, but the Swans were hitting the contests hard. However, despite some good defensive pressure, several worrying trends started to appear. Grundy and Laidler found themselves frequently lead to the ball by their opponents, and Sinclair was being comprehensively beaten in the ruck.
The Blues were also on top in clearances for the quarter, 14-7 and inside 50s, 5-2, and Casboult had 2 contested marks inside 50.
Wright and Casboult put two more goals on the board for Carlton to take the lead, heaping more pressure on the Swans side, that was quickly unravelling. The Blues were manic in their work rate and pressure, forcing the Swans into turn overs and punishing them almost every opportunity.
Papley managed to jag one back for the Swans, followed up by Heeney, taking the lead back for half-time. The story of the half was that almost all goals were scored from turn overs.
You'd think that the Swans would come firing out after half-time, but the complete opposite happened. Inexplicably poor, lethargic, and lacking effort across the ground, the Blues put two goals past the Swans in the first 2 minutes of play, taking back the lead and never surrendering it again.
Weitering put through the Blues' 3rd goal of the quarter just 4 minutes later, extending the lead, and the Swans looked like they'd just come out on the park from a night out boozing. Carlton were dominating them across the ground, with Gibbs and Murphy running rings about the hapless Swans, and Casboult smashing into packs.
A dirty day for the Swans turned even worse, when Rohan went for a speculative mark running pack, and cartwheeled over Sam Rowe. Not sure why he went for the mark, he had no chance of making it.
The play should have stopped, but was allowed to continue for at least 2 more minutes, while 2 stretchers were on the ground, including the buggy. In that time, with the Swans players trying to stop the play, the Blues scored another goal, extending the lead to 17 points. One of the medical staff for the Swans gave McInerney a good old spray, a deserved one too.
The Swans were shell shocked and the Blues scored another goal before the players could get themselves together. The lead was starting to become insurmountable and heads were dropping across the field. Not even the run and dash of Jones was enough to lift the Swans, even though he got himself a goal.
Sinclair rounded out the quarter with another Swans goal to bring it back to 8 points, within reach. But that would be as close as the Swans got.
A last quarter littered with errors, head drops, shanked kicks and very poor discipline and play, rounded out the day. Grundy copped a head knock and once again, even though he was laying on the ground with his head in his hands, play was allowed to continue around him. You'd be excused for thinking someone should have to be decapitated before those morons stop play.
Brandon Jack had the best chance of the 4th quarter to pull the Swans back within a goal, but the ball wouldn't sit for him, and when he did pick it up, he was already closed down. The Blues punished the Swans, with Cripps slotting through his first after 2 bites at the cherry, and Kreuzer taking an uncontested mark in the forward 50.
Curnow put through another for the Blues, extending the lead past 4 goals, and even though Hayward put through his 2nd goal of the game, the Blues responded again through Smedts. Parker put a little sunshine on a dirty day with a snap out of midair to give the Swans a ray of hope, but it wasn't to be.
Kreuzer scored another goal, with Grundy off, putting the hopelessly undersized Swans defence to the Sword, before Papley scored the last goal of the game, ending a dire day.
Kurt Tippet (hip) was replaced in the warm up by James Rose.
Gary Rohan was taken to hospital in the 3rd quarter after sustaining concussion.
Heath Grundy was taken from the field in the last quarter with suspected concussion.
The Swans face the meandering Brisbane Lions, up and about one week, a hapless rabble the next. Last year this was a tough game with the Swans narrowly beating the Lions by 3 points in wet weather.
With both sides at the bottom of the ladder, it takes on an entirely new meaning. The Swans won't have an easy game, with Rohan and Tippett expected to miss.
Hayward 2, Papley 2, Franklin, Heeney, Hannebery, Kennedy, Jones, Sinclair, Parker
Jones, Mills, Lloyd, Heeney, Hewett
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