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Swans thump Giants in Saturday derby cruise

Highlights: GWS v Sydney Swans The Giants and Swans clash in round 21
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Kurt Tippett of the Swans in action during the 2015 AFL round 21 match between the GWS Giants and the Sydney Swans at Spotless Stadium, Sydney, Australia on August 22, 2015. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Kurt Tippett dominated the Giants throughout the day and finished with five goals

JOSH Kennedy's midfield masterclass has led the Sydney Swans to a crushing 89-point win over a hugely disappointing Greater Western Sydney and kept his club well in the hunt for a top four spot.

Kurt Tippett played the dominant game Swans fans have been waiting for, monstering Aidan Corr and the Giants' backline to the tune of five goals, along with eight marks and numerous hit-outs as he shared ruck duties with Mike Pyke.

Five talking points: Greater Western Sydney v Sydney Swans

First-gamer James Rose made a stunning start to his AFL career in red and white, arriving as the substitute late in the game and booting three goals inside 10 minutes as the Swans ran riot in the final term.

WATCH: James Rose's first goal on debut

John Longmire's men made their opponents look very much second-rate at times on Saturday afternoon, leading at every change on the way to the 20.13 (133) - 6.8 (44) victory at Spotless Stadium.

"I thought our blokes were terrific. We knew that there was a lot on the line for both teams and the Giants in particular were very clear about needing to win to keep their finals hopes alive, and we needed to win as well," Longmire said after the match.

"To come out and play like that was a real credit to everyone it was as strong a performance as we've played across the board."

While the result lifts the Swans to a 14-6 record and maintains their charge towards a double-chance in September, the Giants' finals hopes appear are in tatters with two games to go.

Kennedy, who was awarded the Brett Kirk Medal for his efforts, was supreme throughout the match, gathering 35 touches, four marks and two goals in a best-on-ground performance.

The Giants tried Callan Ward, Josh Kelly and Ryan Griffen at various stage of the match in a bid to limit Kennedy's influence, but the 27-year-old continued to find the footy. 

The veteran midfielder was particularly strong at the stoppages where he managed 12 clearances and often drove the Swans forward where Tippett and Sam Reid were hungry for goals in the absence of Lance Franklin due to a back injury.

 

Reid played one of his best games in a red-and-white jumper, pulling down 10 marks from the half-forward line.

The opening few minutes suggested this latest instalment of the Battle of the Bridge would be a close affair, as the two sides traded goals early. 

Unfortunately for the crowd of 19,507 – the Giants' best ever home attendance at the venue - the Swans' early intensity proved too much for GWS, who were unable to get their running game going under their opponents' pressure.

The Swans piled on the last four goals of the opening term to lead by 22 points at the first break and extended the margin to 24 points at half-time following an error-riddled second term that featured only two goals.

The 2014 grand finalists then blew the game open after the main break, booting seven goals to one in the third stanza on the way to a 62-point advantage at the last change. 

 

"They were too hard, they were too good and they were too fanatical and you can't sugar coat this one," a disappointed GWS coach Leon Cameron said after the match.

"The facts are when 44 men ran out on the ground today 22 turned up and 22 thought it was too hard. You've got one side that's competitive and one side that's not competitive."

Giants forward Jeremy Cameron kicked three goals, while teammate Jonathon Patton finished with two. However, the pair struggled to break free from Ted Richards and Heath Grundy respectively, and had limited opportunities given the Swans' dominance further up the ground.

This dispiriting loss puts a line through the Giants' finals chances, and they may feel the sense of missed opportunity, with closing games to come against Carlton and Melbourne to complete their season.

The club has lost four its past five games to sit at 10 wins and 10 losses.

The Swans are now well placed lock down that top-four spot for the finals, particularly if they can overcome St Kilda at Etihad Stadium next week before they face Gold Coast in the final round.

James Rose (r) celebrates one of his three debut goals as the Swans smash the Giants. Picture: AFL Media
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY  2.2   3.5   4.6    6.8 (44)
SYDNEY SWANS                         6.0   7.5   14.8  20.13 (133)

GOALS
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 3, Patton 2, Phillips 1
Sydney Swans: Tippett 5, Cunningham 3, Rose 3, Kennedy 2, K. Jack 2, Heeney, Reid, B. Jack, McVeigh, Goodes 

BEST 
Greater Western Sydney: H. Shaw, Treloar, Williams, Whitfield, Ward, Griffen
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, Tippett, McVeigh, Reid, Cunningham, Goodes 

INJURIES 
Greater Western Sydney: Will Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring), Nick Haynes (illness)
Sydney Swans: Nil

SUBSTITUTES
Greater Western Sydney: Cam McCarthy replaced Nick Haynes in the third quarter
Sydney Swans: James Rose replaced Isaac Heeney at three-quarter time 

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Deboy, Nicholls, Mitchell

Official crowd: 19,507 at Spotless Stadium

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs