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Swans finish all over Giants to claim derby honours after COVID chaos

A proud Longmire paid tribute to his players and staff, who have now been on the road for nearly four weeks.

“To say it was a good win would be an understatement,” Longmire said.

“It was just an unbelievable effort when you consider we probably had enough reasons to maybe, if we wanted to, to not keep going.

“On top of what’s already happened, to be able to have the resilience as a football club to get through it and come out the other end of it was fantastic.”

The drama had a greater impact early on the Swans, who missed Mills in the midfield, but Greene’s absence was keenly felt when the Giants needed someone to reverse their fortunes.

The salt was rubbed into the Giants’ wounds when midfielder Josh Kelly was subbed out with another injury to his right ankle and ruckman Matt Flynn twice had his shoulder pop out after a collision with Hickey at a centre bounce.

The Swans are now just one win behind fourth-placed Port Adelaide.

The Swans are now just one win behind fourth-placed Port Adelaide.Credit:Getty

If there was a duel that best summed up this game it was that of Lance Franklin and Sam Taylor.

Aided by some shoddy disposals, Taylor completely outpointed the superstar forward in the first half but Franklin was dominant after half-time with four goals.

“I felt sorry for Sammy Taylor,” Giants coach Leon Cameron said.

“I thought he had a wonderful first half and then the dam wall broke because we let them have too much easy ball in the second half.”

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The Swans’ old guard of Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy kept their side in the hunt early while Tom Papley’s four goals were crucial.

The Swans started their run against the flow shortly before the long break but were breathtaking in the third quarter.

Their worst has seen them drop games to the Gold Coast and Hawthorn, but their best is capable of going deep into September.

There was a passage of play in the third quarter that summed up Sydney’s strengths. After creating a turnover at half-back through Dane Rampe and Tom McCartin, the Swans started a chain of possessions through the corridor which finished with Tom Hickey booting a superb goal on the run.

It was in marked contrast to the first third of the game when they were stifled by the Giants’ pressure.

Playing for a place in the eight, the Giants were on top in the midfield where the ability of Tim Taranto, Callan Ward and Jacob Hopper to win the contested ball, and Kelly’s running power had the Swans chasing the game.

But the Giants were smacked after half-time in the clearances, losing nine to 20, and were unable to stop the Swans once the ball was in the clear.

“We started really well, we just ran out of tickets,” Cameron said.

“We knew we needed a big lead, we did have that but it got whittled away [in the] back end of the second and it cost us. Our players need to learn from this.”

Skipper Stephen Coniglio was lively early but ran out of steam in his first senior game since round three, finishing with 19 possessions playing predominantly forward.

BEST
Sydney Swans: Parker, Kennedy, Franklin, Hewitt, Papley, Blakey, McInerney.
GWS Giants: Taranto, Hopper, Perryman, Kelly.

VOTES
Luke Parker (Sydney) 8
Josh Kennedy (Sydney) 8
Lance Franklin (Sydney) 7
George Hewitt (Sydney) 7
Tom Papley (Sydney) 7

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