Photo – Getty Images : Ryan Pierse
Sydney 18.14 (122) defeated Carlton 7.9 (51)
10 goals 4 to 1 single behind. That was the score in the third quarter in Sydney’s favor of what had been a tight and tough contest until half time, and is just about all you need to know about this game.
The Blues had been brave and dedicated in the first half, and when youngster Blaine Johnson kicked his first career goal after the half time siren they were just 7 points down with all of the momentum. Carlton had come to the SCG with a well thought out plan and had executed it almost as well as they could have hoped. It involved pushing back hard on the small ground to make it tough for the Swans to score, and then trying to catch out the ladder leaders on the break the other way. While the class always looked to be with Sydney, mentally the Blues were sharp and lapses were few and far between. That all changed in the third.
First Andrew Walker was slow to contest a marking situation allowing opponent Sam Reid to mark almost uncontested and goal. Walker again was on the wrong end minutes later with an undisciplined tug of Adam Goodes’ jumper resulting in another major, shortly after Jared McVeigh was left totally alone at a stoppage to goal on the run, before Luke Parker floated into the goal square to mark almost unopposed as his opponent watched on . And the game was over as a contest. There were a couple of other goals kicked in that period, but those were the gamebreakers.
It was a 10 minute period that will have infuriated coach Mick Malthouse, for as good as the Swans are the 10 minutes that ended the contest was much more about the Blues than Sydney. Not that the Swans didn’t go on with things from there. Buddy Franklin, held goalless to half time, exploded for 5 third quarter goals himself, a couple of them coming somewhat uncharacteristically for Buddy off strongly contested marks. The last quarter started as the third had finished with a Buddy special, running hard towards the boundary in the left forward pocket he would bend the footy the opposite way that physics tell us it should to slot his 6th, and 47th for the season.
Whilst it was a relatively even spread of good players for the Swans one stood out head and shoulders above the rest, and with another stellar performance Josh Kennedy might well move into Brownlow Medal favoritism after the unfortunate season ending injury to Gold Coast star Gary Ablett. Kennedy had 20 possessions in the first half when the game was really on and finished the game with 41, including an incredible 29 contested – a record since the stat started being measured in 1999.
Sam Reid kicked 4 goals for the Swans, while skipper McVeigh, Kieren Jack, Ben McGlynn and Parker were all among the best. With the win the Swans equaled a club record 12 straight wins, a mark they’ll be looking to break next Saturday night at the MCG in a massive blockbuster against the Hawks.
For the Blues Bryce Gibbs continued his strong season to be among the best with skipper Marc Murphy and consistent veteran Kade Simpson, while Lachie Henderson was their only multiple goal scorer kicking 2. They take on North Melbourne next Friday night at Etihad Stadium.
Sydney – Kennedy, Franklin, McVeigh, Reid, Parker, Jack, McGlynn
Carlton – Gibbs, Murphy, Simpson, Henderson