Sydney's youth put on a masterclass of football at the SCG on Saturday afternoon, in a comfortable 33-point win against last years wooden spooners.
Fresh off an upset win against premiership contender Geelong, Adelaide were expected to challenge Sydney in a hotly anticipated clash.
The opening stanza lived up to the hype, but before long the match fizzled out as Sydney built a dominating win.
After making a quick start and punishing Sydney's defensive lapses in the opening quarter with three of the first four goals, Chad Warner (2 goals, 20 disposals), Errol Gulden (22 disposals, 11 score involvements), Braeden Campbell (25 disposals, 700 metres gained) and Justin McInerney (20 disposals, 1 goal) were outstanding.
McInerney, playing his first game for season 2021, grew into the game before becoming a forward half force in the second and third quarters, before booting his first goal of the season.
Tex Walker played a lone hand for the Crows in the first three quarters, finishing with 6 majors for the match in a near best on ground effort, while Shane McAdam kicked three in the last quarter to finish with 4 for the match.
Speaking in the AFL press conference post match, Matthew Nicks heaped praise on his star forward.
"It wasn't so much his lead up at the footy, (I think he) had 4 or 5 tackles inside the forward 50, and we were kicking goals off of pressure.
"That may have broken the amount of tackles that he's had in the forward 50 over course of his career."
Adelaide were unable to replicate their impressive spread of goal kickers from the first round, with just three different goal kickers, and trailing 53-points midway through the final quarter.
Crows senior coach Matthew Nicks lamented his sides inconsistency.
"We were inconsistent unfortunately, some good patches, some not so good patches, the second quarter in the end was the difference, and they put us away in that quarter.
"I thought we finished the game off really well, and there were times in the game that we saw the method that we want to bring, and the brand of footy that we saw last week.
"We owned that ball forward of centre for periods of that game, and in the third we kicked 1 goal 8 in a 20 minute period, and they went and kicked 3 goals straight."
Lance Franklin made his long awaited return to senior football - 581 days after his last match - with a goal in the opening quarter.
Swans coach John Longmire was happy his start forward made it through the match unscathed.
"Our expectations were very low today with with Lance, to come in and play a role, and hopefully things work out and get through and play the game.
"The good thing is that he feels good now, so we'll be interested to see how he pulls up this week."
Despite dominating the play, Adelaide could only muster scoring chances from errors by the Swans defence, coughing up 3 scoring shots from free kicks.
A late goal to Tom Hickey - his second for the match - steadied the Swans, before they launched their attack on the scoreboard in the second quarter.
Sam Berry peppered the scoreboard in just his second match, while Tex Walker booted his third goal on Dane Rampe, who had a torrid time.
Just as it was against the Lions, Errol Gulden was sensational in the opening half and had the ball virtually on a string, finishing with 17 disposals and 1 goal at half time.
Whatever was said behind closed doors in the Adelaide change rooms had the desired impact, as their first quarter pressure returned to elite levels.
Despite Adelaide having more of the ball and forcing the less experienced Sydney players into turnovers, Sydney were absolutely ruthless on the turnover, scoring an incredible 9 goals 6 to three-quarter time.
Taylor Walker, Rory Laid, Tom Lynch and Shane McAdam (2) missed gettable chances that would have dragged the Crows back into the match, while young Swans Sam Wicks and Chad Warner booted impressive goals on the run late in the quarter to extend the lead to 51-points at the last change.
Rory Laird was once again excellent for the Crows, finishing with a match-high 30 disposals, while Rory Sloane (21 disposals) and Ben Keays (28 disposals, 1 goal) contributed extensively in the second half.
Sydney Swans senior coach John Longmire conceded that despite the win, his chargers still have a lot to work on.
"You go into the game, thinking you're going to win by 33 points, and you do well injury wise, we would have taken it.
"A few things to work on, they ended up having 31 scoring shots - 16 scoring shots from stoppages, but on the balance take that every week."
Jordan Dawson (corked thigh) and Tom Papley had late injury scares, but were able to finish the match.
The Swans take on premiership favourites Richmond at the MCG on Easter Saturday who may welcome back Bachar Houli, and can expect James Rowbottom to make his return. The Crows take on the Gold Coast Suns on Easter Friday at AAMI stadium in another match between two up-and-coming teams.
SYDNEY 4.1 9.6 15.11 18.13 (121)
ADELAIDE 3.2 4.6 6.14 11.12 (88)
SYDNEY Franklin 3, Heeney 3, Hickey 2, McDonald 2, Warner 2, Papley, Gulden, Reid, Wicks, Parker, McInerney
ADELAIDE Walker 6, McAdam 4, Keays
SYDNEY Warner, Gulden, Campbell, McInerney, Heeney, Parker, Dawson
ADELAIDE Walker, Laird, Sloane, Keays, McAdam, Doedee
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