Report: Thor reigns supreme at Marvel Stadium

A spectacular early mark of the year contender by Isaac Heeney early in the first quarter wasn't enough for a Swans Hulk Smash to spoil the Bulldogs show, as the Swans were defeated by 17 points on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium.

Aussie actor and Bulldogs fan Chris Hemsworth – who has played Thor in several big-screen blockbusters – and his Hollywood pal Matt Damon cheered on the home side, which stormed to a 40-point lead just after half-time and withstood a spirited Swans fightback.

The Bulldogs took their time gaining a foothold in the match, kicking their first major almost 10 minutes into the match.

It was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half, as they effortlessly marched to a 33-point half-time lead.

Heeney's goal was the Swans only major for more than a half of football, as they struggled to maintain possession of the ball.

The Bulldogs on the other hand dominated the contest, going inside fifty 33 times to 17, with defender-turned-forward Aaron Naughton booting 2 goals.

Lachie Hunter (26 disposals, 8 tackles) and Marcus Bontempelli (29 disposals, 1 goal) dominated the midfield, while Jake Lloyd (35 disposals, 10 marks) and Callum Sinclair (11 disposals, 44 hit outs) were the best for the Swans.

Superstar forward Lance Franklin, who appeared underdone from a limited pre-season following groin surgery, managed just 7 touches - 5 of them in the last quarter and one goal.

His first half was forgettable, managing just 2 disposals and rarely looking a forward half threat, before going disposal-less in the third quarter.

Nick Blakey's first senior goal early in the 3rd quarter broke the Bulldogs's run of seven unanswered goals and kick-started the Swans' fight back.

Sam Lloyd's instant reply was a win for the AFL, with the 6-6-6 rule having an impact and creating space for the former Richmond forward.

Three quick goals by the Swans gave them a brief glimmer of hope, before Aaron Naughton kicked truly after Lewis Melican conceded a free kick in defensive 50.

The Swans fought back early in the fourth quarter, kicking four unanswered goals to draw within 4 points, having trailed by 40 points early in the third quarter.

Both sides traded points as they fiercely battled for supremacy, before the Bulldogs booted two quick goals to put the result beyond doubt.

The Swans play their first home game of the season at the SCG, taking on 2017 Grand Finalists, the Adelaide Crows.

Last season Adelaide upset the Swans and will be looking for a repeat result.

SYDNEY  1.2  1.5  5.6  9.11 (65)
WESTERN BULLDOGS  4.5  6.8  9.14  11.16 (82)

Sydney: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Matt Suckling (right ankle)


Sydney: Reid 2, Heeney 2, Blakey, Hayward, Mills, Papley, Franklin
Western Bulldogs: Naughton 3, Gowers 2, Lloyd 2, Richards, Duryea, Schache, Bontempelli

Sydney: Lloyd, McVeigh, Sinclair, Papley, Jones
Western Bulldogs: Naughton, Bontempelli, Liberatore, Wallis, Macrae, Hunter

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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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