Match report: Consistent Swans thrash hapless Fremantle

The Swans continued their impressive vein of form with an emphatic 104 point win on Saturday afternoon in front of a season-high 39,281 crowd at the SCG.

They put the Dockers to the sword, kicking off the match with an 8 goal run in the first quarter before Fremantle scored their first, leading by 43 at the first break.

It only got worse for Fremantle as they trailed at every break, with the Swans winning every quarter, despite slacking off in the third.

The win firmly places the Swans in the finals picture with games against Adelaide and Carlton to come, while the loss was the greatest margin between the two sides, and consigns Ross Lyon to his second 100-plus margin of the year.


For the third time this season the Swans named an unchanged lineup, but for the first time in over a year of football, the Swans actually entered the match unchanged.

Sam Naismith was ruled out early on Thursday while Kennedy was ruled out late in the afternoon, after failing to train with the main group.

The match

Nat Fyfe won the toss and took an eternity to pick a direction, setting the trend for the Fremantle dockers.

Their decision making under pressure from the outset was poor and their work rate non-existent, as the Swans dominated early possession and inside 50s.

Gary Rohan had the first on the board, marking high over Pearce in front of Tippett and kicking truly.

The Swans were keeping the pressure up and the ball inside their forward half, while Sam Reid enjoyed an absurd amount of space in the forward line.

He marked strongly in the air, but could only push his shot to the left, at which point the Swans had already recorded 13-to-2 inside 50s.

Fremantle had an opportunity to score their first goal of the quarter through the 18-year-old Cox, marking on a strong lead with no opponent, but pushed it right.

The Swans turned it on immediately afterwards, with the ball moving well out of defence, through the middle of the ground inside 50 with a penetrating kick by Towers.

It was mopped up by Pearce, who was set upon in a fierce tackle by Tippett, with the ball spilling loose to the feet of Heeney, who pushed off his opponent and dribbled it through.

The Swans had the ball on a string and Franklin soon added to the tally, marking far too easily against Johnson who went to ground under little contact.

Franklin, along with Rampe and Parker, was dominating the game the, and the Dockers had nothing to answer with.

Sam Reid had another shot at goal after another opportunity 35 metres out, directly in front, but pushed it wide again.

Luke Parker followed up a minute later with a superb goal from the left pocket, on the run from 50, including a nice dish from Heeney, and burning Brad Hill on the run.

The game settled as the Dockers gained a foothold, with the Swans easy ball movement stifled and Fremantle getting their own chances inside 50.

But through strong defence, and an accidental knee-on-knee to David Mundy, they truly struggled to do anything with the ball once it moved forward, although Taberner was providing a good aerial presence.

And then the Swans went bang.

Luke Parker kicked it all off a crafty goal inside 50, his second of the quarter, followed up by a superb team goal, with Rohan capping off a bit of a bizarre passage of possession.

Just a minute later Sam Reid had his first goal of the match, another set shot from a prime area, this time smashing it through the sticks.

Livewire Hayward, up and about early, added to the score with an uncontested mark inside the forward 50, leaving the commentators baffled and critical of the Fremantle defence.

It was all one-way traffic for the first quarter, with Taberner and McCarthy the only lively players the Dockers had.

Despite Ross Lyon saying after the game that they hadn't meekly surrendered, you certainly couldn't have come to that conclusion after their second quarter, which was arguably worse than their first, scoring just two behinds.

While it took a while for the first goal of the quarter, coming through Kurt Tippett, the Swans were well and truly on top across the ground, and only had themselves to blame for not extending the lead.

Luke Parker was on fire, recording five first-possessions, four resulting in clearances, as well as the Swans launching inside 50 7 times to 1 before Tippett's goal, the Swans constantly monstering the Dockers inside 50.

Franklin kicked his 2nd of the match, giving Hamling a bit of a lesson in the process, while Dean Towers and Zak Jones hit the scoreboard with with minor scores.

McCarthy scored Fremantle's second behind of the quarter, then Sydney followed it up with a superb coast-to-coast play, with Sinclair getting on the end of it all.

It was all a bit too easy and far too hapless from the Dockers, but they were equal to it once again, with Franklin booting his third goal of the match, watching Hamling run past the ball.

Franklin has his fourth just a minute later, once again on Hamling, as the Swans went into half-time 75 points up, scoring 60 points from turnovers alone, their best first-half effort since 2012.

Something was clearly said at half-time, with the Dockers best moments of the match coming in the third quarter.

The Swans had the first three on the board through Reid, Jack and Papley, with Reid's goal coming in the first minute, lace out silver service.

Kieren had his first of the match on the run, while Papley snapped home after a superb front-and-square gather off a spilled Franklin mark.

Once again, a Fremantle turnover lead to the score, with the Swans setting up beautifully off half-back and rebounding straight through the middle.

David Mundy finally had the Dockers first goal of the second half, despite the best efforts of the Swans defence.

Nic Newman's game finished early, copping an accidental kick on the knee from Kurt Tippett in the centre square while tackling a Fremantle player.

It wasn't long before Papley had his second of the quarter, if you can believe it, front-and-square again.

Running into goal alongside Parker, Luke originally called for it, then when Papley turned to dish, Luke pointed at the goals, grinning like a cheshire cat.

Fremantle dug deep and found something in the basement, adding a bit of respect to a disgraceful scoreline that threatened to blow out well past the ton, with the Swans leading by 83 before the Dockers scored again.

Goals to Deluca and McCarthy, punctuated by another bad miss by Sam Reid, rounded out the quarter with Fremantle closing the gap late, but still losing the quarter and trailing by 80 points.

The Swans weren't to be denied in the last quarter after a slack third quarter and turned up the heat once again, scoring early behinds through Jones and Hayward.

Zak Jones had his first goal of the match in his 50th career game, bringing emojis to life in his celebration.

Both sides traded behinds before McCarthy got one back for the visitors, but it was to be their last goal of the match, with Fyfe rounding out their scoring a minute later.

Will Hayward had his second of the match and when Kurt Tippett marked strongly on the arc and put it through, the Swans 100-plus-point margin looked back on the cards.

Incredibly, with just under 10 minutes left to play, 9 Fremantle players had yet to register double-digit possessions, while captain-for-the-day Rampe had hit the target 18 of 20 times, recorded a game-high 6 spoils and collected 8 intercept possessions.

Such was the gap between the two sides that Fremantle looked hapless, while the Swans looked indomitable.

Franklin had another chance to score but could only push it wide, while veteran Jarrad McVeigh showed his craft in front of goals and shot truly.

Luke Parker capped off an emphatic victory in the dying moments of the match, kicking his third for the afternoon and extending the lead beyond 100 points.

The Swans smashed the pathetic Dockers, recording 115 more disposals, 19 more scoring shots, despite winning the inside 50s by 8, scored more points from transition than Fremantle scored for the match, had 11 more marks inside 50, 11 more contested possessions and 15 more tackles.

It was a dark, dirty day for the Dockers, and one really has to wonder where to now for them, as they look like a club ready to occupy the lower reaches of the AFL ladder for an extended period.

Medical room

Nic Newman hyper extended his right knee early in the third quarter and took no further part in the match. He will be tested throughout the week.

Next up

The crushing victory sets the Swans up for a potential top-4 clash against the Crows next Friday night, with a win all but ensuring a top-6 finish and opening up fourth place (praying for the usual Richmond meltdown).

The Tigers lost and Port failed to beat the Pies by a big enough margin to retake 5th.

Captain Josh Kennedy will be available, barring any training or rehab mishap.

Sydney Swans
Fremantle Dockers

Goals: Franklin 4, Parker 3, Reid 2, Rohan 2, Tippett 2, Hayward 2, Papley 2, Heeney, Sinclair, Jack, Jones, McVeigh

Best: Franklin, Parker, Rampe, Hannebery, McVeigh, Jack, Tippett, Jones, Heeney

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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

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