Swans vs Crows talking points - Round 2, 2021

We take a look at some of the talking points from the Swans dominant 33-points win against the Adelaide Crows at the SCG on Saturday afternoon.

1: Buddy boost brings instant rewards
The Swans welcomed back superstar forward Lance Franklin from the AFL injury wilderness on Saturday afternoon, playing his first game in 581 days. It didn't take long for his impact to be felt around the ground. Late in the first quarter, his characteristic arc, followed by a thundering thud echoed through the stadium, the ball sailed through the sticks and the crowd erupted.

It wasn't a vintage buddy performance by any measure, but it was the perfect hit out that he - and the Swans - needed, and proved that he can still play AFL level and contribute, and importantly, he played through the match.

The veteran was well supported by the young swans in the forward 50, with Logan McDonald - who was just 3 years old when Lance debuted - dishing it to an open Franklin in the goal square for his third goal.

2: Six-goal Tex can't save the Crows
It was a masterclass from the former Adelaide Captain, with a six-goal haul from the veteran Crow. It wasn't enough to drag his team across the line, who were utterly dreadful in patches, and horribly inaccurate in front of goal.

His 4 forward-50 tackles lead to 3 goals, while providing plenty of space for Shane McAdam, who hit the scoreboard with 4 goals of his own.

Despite winding the form clock back half-a-decade, it wasn't enough to keep the Crows in the match, trailing by 53-points midway through the fourth quarter.

3: Swans youngsters are genuine stars now
No on outside of the Swans faithful, and those in the know, expected Errol Gulden, Braeden Campbell and Logan McDonald to have the impact they've had in the opening two rounds. It's fair to say that expectations off the back of the 2020 AFL Draft weren't huge before Round 1, but given their performances over the opening two rounds, that may well have changed.

Gulden and Campbell both lead the stats at half-time with 17 disposals each, and Errol recording a phenomenal 91 ranking points. Chad Warner in just his third AFL game was arguably best afield, booted two goals including a ripper on the run outside 50.

Logan McDonald has booted 5 goals over the opening two rounds and showed why he was highly regarded leading up to the draft. His ability to get up and down the ground, mark overhead and beat his opponent on the lead is already giving his opponents headaches.

4: Inaccuracy cost both sides
Adelaide could have arguably been a lot closer heading into the final change, but were utterly wasteful in front of goal, with Sam Berry the worst offender. With just 3 different goal kickers for the match, Adelaide simply couldn't get the spread they enjoyed in their opening round win against Geelong.

Even when they had deadset chances, they missed them. Sydney on the other hand missed chances to put the result beyond doubt in the second and third quarters, booting 11.9 - the Crows kicked 3.12 in the same period.

Improved accuracy for the Swans would have yielded a massive win, while Adelaide could have given themselves a chance late in the game.

5: Pyke's style is evident in Swans brand
Picking up Don Pyke was a masterstroke for the Swans. His attacking, yet structured style of gameplay is already evident, with the Swans playing a dangerous yet measured style of football.

Their ability to punish teams on turnovers has been astonishing, scoring more than 70 points against the Crows and 85 points against the Lions, easily eclipsing both teams by nearly 100 points.

It's not just exciting and quick movement of the ball, it's the way that they've been able to control the ball and contain their opponents, that is reminiscent of the Hawks from 2012 to 2016 and Adelaide 2017. Even when Adelaide burst out of the gates and put two goals on the scoreboard in the opening minutes, the Swans didn't panic, and eventually worked their way in front.

6: Defensive lapses kept Adelaide in the game
There's going to be more than a fair share of coach killers and don't come Monday's in the team review for the Swans. The Crows scored their goals almost exclusively from defensive turnovers and frees against in the opening half, and it continued in the final quarter with George Hewett and Dane Rampe coughing up frees to Tex Walker.

There's no taking the gloss of Walker's performance, it was superb and his forward half pressure forced the Swans into uncharacteristic mistakes. In the end, the tiring Swans coughed up 5 last-quarter goals that took some of the gloss off an impressive performance.

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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 https://theswansblog.com

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