The Swans ran riot in the second half of Sydney Derby XV, turning a 15-point half-time deficit into a 20-point win, remarkably keeping their top four hopes alive.
All but written off as finals contenders three weeks ago, wins against Collingwood, Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney have propelled them back into contention.
Trailing for much of the night, the Giants finally wilted under the Swans’ unrelenting pressure, booting 7 goals to 2 after half-time, with the Giants struggling with injuries.
Starting the quarter with no fit players on the bench and a clearly injured Phil Davis starting in the forward line, centre clearances by Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker got the Swans’ rolling.
The Giants could do little to stop Luke Parker and skipper Josh Kennedy as they ran riot in the fourth quarter, racking up 4 clearances and 4 inside 50s between them.
Kieren Jack was vital in the Swans’ comeback in the last quarter, collecting 7 disposals, 2 inside 50s and booting the goal to put them 8-points ahead with just 5 minutes left.
Jack’s return to form is a welcome addition for the Swans, finishing with 22 disposals and 2 goals, while Luke Parker finished with 33 disposals and 2 goals.
Greater Western Sydney dominated the first half, with Dylan Shiel and Stephen Coniglio running rampant, collecting more than 30 disposals between them.
Trailing by 13 inside 50s at the major break, the Swans lifted in the third quarter with 21 more possessions and 6 more inside 50s, finishing with 7 more inside 50s for the match.
While Dylan Shiel (33 possessions) was still running and getting plenty of the ball, Tim Taranto (30 possessions, 6 tackles) and Callan Ward (27 possessions, 8 clearances, 8 tackles) continued to defy the Swans.
After kicking six-straight behinds for the third quarter, Lance Franklin finally slotted the Swans’ first of the quarter, his third of the match, to reduce the margin to 12 points at the final break.
It was all one-way traffic in the last quarter, the Swans recording 46 more possessions, 7 more marks inside 50, 14 more inside 50s and 18 more contested possessions, to record an important victory.
Opposed to Jeremy Finlayson, Phil Davis, Adam Tomlinson and Nick Haynes at times throughout the match, Franklin booted two more goals in the final quarter, finishing with five for the match – four of those once Davis was injured.
Franklin continued to be the Swan main target inside 50, while Josh Kennedy, Kieren Jack, Will Hayward and Luke Parker capitalised on the space left by the Giants’ defenders, booting four goals.
The Giants lost veteran Ryan Griffen late in the third quarter to a hamstring injury, while Phil Davis copped a blow to the back in a marking contest late in the first quarter.
The Swans finish off their season on Saturday night at the SCG against a Hawthorn team, vying for their first top four finish in two seasons, while the Giants travel to the MCG to face the Demons who'll be fighting to stay in the finals, while the Giants will be fighting to stay in the hunt for a top-4 finish.
SYDNEY 1.2 4.3 5.9 11.14 80
GWS GIANTS 3.3 6.6 7.9 8.12 60
Phil Davis received treatment for a knock to his back in a marking contest late in the first quarter. Ryan Griffen came from the field in the third quarter and received treatment for a hamstring injury, failing to return. Jeremy Finlayson received treatment in the third quarter for an ankle treat, and Daniel Lloyd suffered a cut to his face.
Sydney: Franklin 5, Parker 2, Jack 2, Hayward, McCartin
GWS Giants: Cameron 2, Himmelberg 2, Lloyd 2, Shiel, Bonar
Sydney: Parker, Franklin, Kennedy, Lloyd, Jack
GWS Giants: Ward, Shiel, Tarranto, Coniglio, Himmelberg
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