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Swans blitz Blues to make it 12 wins in a row

Highlights: Sydney Swans v Carlton The Swans and Blues clash in round 17
Lance Franklin booted five third-quarter goals in a scintillating performance  - ${keywords}
Lance Franklin booted five third-quarter goals in a scintillating performance
A BREATHTAKING third term has carried the Sydney Swans to a club record-equalling 12th consecutive victory on Saturday night, thrashing Carlton by 71 points at the SCG.
 
The Blues trailed by just seven points after a competitive first half before Lance Franklin took over, kicking five of the Swans' 10 goals in the third quarter to break open a scarcely believable 70-point lead.
 
It was 10.4 to one solitary point in that third term as the Swans cruised to a 18.14 (122) to 7.9 (51) result that lifts them back one game clear atop the AFL ladder.
 

Franklin, who didn't score in the first half, finished with 6.2 as the Swans matched a winning streak set three times in club history, the last of which came way back in 1935.
 
In two of those previous occasions, the South Melbourne-based Swans went on to win the premiership, and it would be a wise man betting against that scenario happening again on current form.
 
Swans coach John Longmire felt his side had been "a bit cute" in the first half, but was pleased with its response from that point on.
 
"There were a couple of things structurally we changed, but I think it was just about keeping the persistence up and keep the intensity up and eventually things start going your way," he said.

"It was a fantastic third quarter, there's no doubt about that.

"We keep on persisting and it broke our way. Once you get on a roll like that, you have to make the most of it and we certainly did in that third quarter."

Josh Kennedy lacked his usual kicking efficiency but still finished with an impressive 41 touches, while the usual suspects of Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack, Ben McGlynn and Luke Parker played their part.
 
Ruckman Mike Pyke also finished with 53 hit-outs, smashing his personal best of 47, set against Gold Coast two years ago.
 
Reliable duo Bryce Gibbs (29 disposals, 10 clearances, seven tackles) and Marc Murphy (29 disposals, seven clearances) led the way for Carlton, with Kade Simpson playing a solid role off halfback.
 
Lachie Henderson was the Blues' only multiple goalkicker with two ahead of next week's clash with North Melbourne.
 
The Swans started the match dominating possession and the inside 50 tally, but unable to make it count on the scoreboard.
 
Gary Rohan finally broke a goalless first 18 minutes with a superb solo effort, accelerating away from Zach Tuohy and slamming it through from a tight angle and celebrating with the partisan home crowd.
 
Brock McLean answered with a difficult set shot before a late Nick Malceski goal, coming from a needless Levi Casboult 50 metre penalty, earned the Swans a late goal and the Carlton forward a spray on the bench.
 
Leading by just eight points at the first change, the game started following the script early in the second term with the Swans kicking three of the first four goals to break open a 20-point edge.
 
Yet the Blues were up for the fight, with a sustained period of pressure resulting in three goals, capped by third-gamer Blaine Johnson's effort after the siren which made it just a seven-point game at half-time.
 
But the match was turned on its head in the third quarter as the Swans eased their way to victory and afterwards, coach Mick Malthouse was left shaking his head at his side's inconsistency.
 
But he wasn't backing away from a comment earlier in the week that the Swans' list is the best he's seen.
 
"If (that first half) is our standard, we've got to try to maintain it and if we can't maintain it, why can't we maintain it?" he said.
 
"But they are a very, very good football side. Put (Kurt) Tippett in there. Put (Dan) Hannebery in there.
 
"Then you've got these kids getting 40 and 50 (possessions) in the seconds.
 
"So they're a very hard side to stop."

Gary Rohan used his blistering pace to slot the opening goal of the game. Picture: AFL Media



SYDNEY SWANS      2.4   6.6    16.10   18.14 (122)                  
CARLTON                 1.2    5.5     5.6       7.9  (51)          
 
GOALS
Sydney Swans: Franklin 6, Reid 4, Parker 2, Goodes 2, Rohan, Malceski, Lloyd, McVeigh
Carlton: Henderson 2, McLean, White, Bell, Johnson, Everitt

BEST 
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Franklin, McVeigh, Parker, K Jack, Pyke, Smith
Carlton: Gibbs, Murphy, Simpson, Henderson, Curnow
 
INJURIES 
Sydney Swans: Nil
Carlton: Nil
 
SUBSTITUTES
Sydney Swans: Brandon Jack replacedDane Rampe in the fourth quarter
Carlton: Nick Graham replaced David Ellard in the third quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Rosebury, Harris, Mollison
 
Official crowd: 34,965 at the SCG