The Sydney Swans have succumbed to successive home defeats to the Port Adelaide Power today, going down by 23 points at a packed SCG.
An uncharacteristically error-riddled game from the Sydney Swans saw their half-time 14-point lead evaporate as the Power kicked 7-goals-to-2 in the third quarter.
Port Adelaide thoroughly dominated the last quarter despite the Swans pulling the margin back to 4 points, running out eventual winners by 23 points.
A hard fought opening half predictably made way for an open and free flowing second half, but it was the Power that capitalised, while the Swans struggled to maintain possession.
The game started in relentless fashion with both teams slamming into the contest and giving no quarter. Port Adelaide started with Howard on Franklin, but it was the Power that kicked the first goal through Polec.
The Swans were well on top in hit-outs and clearances, but it took a shank inside-50 kick from captain Josh Kennedy for the Swans to kick their first. Parker capitalised on the loose ball and snapped truly from close range with Howard hot on his heels.
It wasn't long before Franklin was in the match, kicking his first just minutes later after a lovely pass inside 50. He kicked truly from deep in the left pocket and extended the Swans lead.
The Swans dominated the game in the first quarter, but couldn't translate the advantage on to the scoreboard, with players spraying forward kicks all over the ground, and Port Adelaide's pressure fanatical.
Hayward kicked the first goal of the second quarter just after the restart and it looked as though the Swans were going to run away with it.
Melican miss-kicked out of defence several times, stalling several Swans counter attacks, while Florent laid an impressive chase-down tackle on Travis Boak, winning the free kick.
The Swans managed another scrappy goal through a Cunningham clearance, snapping a kick to Kieran Jack, who then drilled it to Papley on the lead inside 50.
Motlop threatened to break the game open and dazzled at times, before Wingard snapped from the pocket after Mills and Melican turned the ball over.
McVeigh had a great first half and capped it off with a drilled inside 50 to Cunningham, kicking the final goal of the half after the siren, extending the Swans lead to 14 at half-time.
Port Adelaide made changes to their forward line structure and it paid immediately dividends through Boak, kicking the first two of the quarter.
Franklin got one back for the Swans when he beat Howard one-on-one in the pocket after a long kick inside 50 and dribbled from close range.
Motlop snapped truly just minutes later, while Heeney reaped the rewards of the Howard vs Franklin battle, as the ball spilled out the back.
Port's pressure was relentless and it was forcing the Swans into nervous mistakes, with experienced players fumbling the ball across the park.
Even when the Swans drove the ball inside 50, typically clean players like McVeigh couldn't control the ball.
Rampe fell over in the goal square and gifted a goal to Wingard, his second, starting a run of 4 unanswered goals by the Power.
By the end of the quarter, Port Adelaide had turned a 14-point half-time deficit into a 15-point three quarter time lead.
They were clean, slick and clinical, while the usually reliable Swans fumbled the ball under little pressure and made uncharacteristic mistakes across the ground.
The Swans made head-way early in the fourth with Lance Franklin kicking his 4th and drilling a perfect pass on to the chest of Towers, who finished from 45m out directly in front.
Port Adelaide were well on top and their dominance finally translated on to the scoreboard, as Polec smashed one in from beyond the arc, followed up by a scrappy collect by Sam Powell Pepper.
Riley Bonner rounded out the goals for the visitors, leaving the Swans ruing a lack of forward options and ball handling issues.
The Swans face in-form flag favourites Greater Western Sydney at home, who will have to make do without both-way running powerhouse Tom Scully, who broke his ankle against Collingwood in Round 2.
SYDNEY 2.4 6.6 8.10 10.11 (71)
PORT ADELAIDE 1.2 4.4 11.7 14.10 (94)
Zak Jones (calf) replaced in the selected side before the game by Robbie Fox.
Franklin, Parker, Heeney, McVeigh, Kennedy, Smith
Franklin (4), Towers, Cunningham, Papley, Hayward, Heeney, Parker
If you'd like to support us, you can head over to our Red Bubble Swans Blog Shop, and purchase one of our hideously overpriced mugs, stickers or notebooks. Help keep The Swans Blog alive.
Want instant access to the latest blog and news content from The Swans Blog?
Download our Android App from Google Play today.