Highlights: Adelaide v Sydney Swans
The Crows and Swans clash in round 11
THE SYDNEY Swans' premiership defence stepped up a level on Saturday night with a surprise 77-point decimation of Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
It was the Crows' worst loss at home since a 97-point thrashing at the hands of Hawthorn in round nine, 1994.
Considering the absence of Sam Reid and Lewis Jetta and the imminent return of power forward Kurt Tippett, the Swans' performance was a stark reminder of their awesome potential.
Five talking points: Adelaide v Sydney Swans
The Swans' six-goals-to-one second term, in which they managed 24 inside 50s to five ensured the match was over by half-time. Crows coach Brenton Sanderson was in awe of his opposition
. "Our players mentioned that even when they were 90 points up in the fourth quarter, they were still saying they wanted to get the next one," Sanderson said.
"Incredible culture that they've got, incredible belief amongst their footy team, that's the level that we need to aspire to and that we'll one day get to."
Midfielder Daniel Hannebery was unstoppable on his way to an equal career-high 42 possessions and he booted a goal for good measure.
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Jesse White stood tall in his side's forward line, booting three majors, including a goal-of-the-week contender in the third quarter.
The Swans took an enviable record at AAMI Stadium into the match, having won four of their last five games at the venue and quickly set about improving it further.
Despite Adelaide dominating possession early, Sydney made full use of their time with the ball and skipped away to a three-goal lead at the first change.
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The reigning premiers flexed their muscle in the second term, panicking Adelaide into constant fumbles, mistakes and turnovers with unforgiving and relentless pressure.
The Swans, by contrast, showed clean skills in close and cool heads with the ball in hand.
Hannebery accumulated an amazing 28 first-half possessions, while his skipper Kieren Jack and veteran Swan Ryan O'Keefe also starred.
The gulf in class between the two sides was stark by the main break and Mitch Morton's circus-act goal major midway through the third quarter was proof the Swans could do no wrong.
Crows defender Andy Otten was sent forward and Josh Jenkins into defence, but it didn't matter as the margin continued to swell.
Adelaide's three-goal final quarter was an improvement and reduced the margin to below 100 points, but it did nothing to lighten a dark night in the City of Churches.
Swans coach John Longmire said his players' relentless ferocity was impressive
"Winning away in Adelaide is always a tough one, they're a really good team," Longmire said.
"I was really pleased with the way we attacked the ball and the way we tackled – we had 82 tackles – and really put enormous pressure on the ball carrier.
"The players were fantastic in that area."
Mitchell, Hannebery, Kennedy and Jack - the conquering heroes leave the field after demolishing the Crows in Sydney's best win of the year. Picture: AFL Media
ADELAIDE 1.4 3.4 3.9 6.14 (50)
4.4 10.9 17.12 19.13 (127)
McKernan 2, Callinan, Dangerfield, Lynch, Vince
Morton 3, McGlynn 3, White 3, Bird 2, Bolton 2, Hannebery, Parker, K. Jack, Everitt, Mitchell, Goodes
Sloane, Smith, Dangerfield, Rutten, Talia, Douglas
Hannebery, K.Jack, Malceski, O'Keefe, Mitchell, Morton, White
Mackay (hip) replaced in the starting line-up by Callinan, Petrenko (shoulder), Jacobs (knee)
Mumford (fractured cheekbone)
Jason Porplyzia replaced Jared Petrenko (shoulder) at half time
Brandon Jack replaced Shane Mumford at three-quarter-time
Stevic, Nicholls, Findlay
38,374 at AAMI Stadium