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Match report: Swans monster woeful Dockers

David Sygall  August 12, 2017 5:51 PM

Highlights: Sydney v Fremantle The Swans and Dockers clash in round 21
AFL 2017 Round 21 - Sydney v Fremantle

Dean Towers and Will Hayward enjoy the spoils in the Swans' big win

SYDNEY has the top four in its crosshairs after an ominous 104-point demolition of Fremantle in front of 39,281 at the SCG.

It was the biggest ever margin between the two teams, the biggest between any two sides this year, and Ross Lyon's biggest loss as a coach.

Full match coverage and stats

The commanding team performance - which sets up a mouth-watering clash with top-placed Adelaide on Friday night - was iced by four goals and 24 possessions from Lance Franklin after a quiet fortnight for the superstar forward. 

Nat Fyfe played a lone hand for the Dockers with 28 disposals, but he couldn’t stem the red and white tide, as the Swans played with fluency, intent and poise throughout, despite the points being all-but decided early on.

Any confidence Fremantle might have carried from their win over Gold Coast last round was blasted away almost immediately by the Swans, who cracked 50 points to register their highest-ever opening quarter against the Dockers, and second highest in any match since 2012. 

Five talking points: Sydney v Fremantle

Fremantle’s best moments came in the third term, with three goals resulting from improved returns around the contest and an even ledger of inside 50s.

Sydney still edged the visitors by five points for the term, though they lost young defender Nic Newman to a leg injury. 

In the fourth quarter Sydney continued to improve its percentage, with a further five goals to one, eclipsing the club’s previous highest winning margin against Fremantle of 90 points, set last season.

Tom Papley leaves the Dockers in his wake at the SCG. Picture: Getty Images

Coach John Longmire was delighted by the thumping win.

"We dropped away a bit in the third term, but to the players’ credit they really rammed it home in the last quarter and finished off incredibly strongly," he said.

“We spoke at half time about keeping our focus on working through the defensive aspects of the game and keeping the team in the front of the mind.

“When you have a significant win and you’re able to keep that pressure on the opposition to the point where you can out-tackle them, it's a great sign."

In addition to Franklin’s return to prominence, Kurt Tippett’s performance was encouraging, with 13 touches, seven marks and a game-high eight tackles.

Midfielders Luke Parker (29), Dan Hannebery (29) and Jake Lloyd (26) were exceptional, while defensive general Dane Rampe (25) was infallible. 

Parker kicked three goals, while Will Hayward, Tom Papley, Gary Rohan, Sam Reid and Tippett each scored multiple majors.

Fremantle’s youngsters learnt a harsh lesson, with developing forward Matt Taberner the pick of the bunch.

Lyon was defiant after the huge loss, saying his team had at least remained competitive in the second half.

"In the third quarter we actually had more shots. I thought there was enough character that got shown. We just didn’t totally surrender, so that was important," he said.

"They’re a hard-nosed professional team. I think they had four players different from last year, we had 14 or 15.

"I’m loathe to make excuses, but that’s a fact. I think we had seven first-year players."

Taberner was strong in the air, grabbing a game-high five contested marks, and with more poise in front of goal, could have kicked three or four.

Sydney: Nic Newman needed attention in the third quarter for a right knee complaint, which ended his afternoon. 

Fremantle: David Mundy limped off midway through the first quarter after a tackle by Dan Hannebery but got back on the ground and played out the game.

The Swans head to Adelaide for a Friday night special against the Crows in what shapes as a perfect early curtain-raiser for the finals. Fremantle hosts Richmond next Sunday in their final match at Domain Stadium.

SYDNEY            8.2    13.6   17.7    22.11 (143)
FREMANTLE      1.1    1.3    4.5       5.9 (39)

Sydney: Franklin 4, Parker 3, Reid 2, Rohan 2, Tippett 2, Hayward 2, Papley 2, Heeney, Sinclair, Jack, Jones, McVeigh
Fremantle: McCarthy 2, Taberner, Mundy, DeLuca

Sydney: Parker, Hannebery, Rampe, Franklin, Heeney, Lloyd, Jack
Fremantle: Fyfe, Darcy, Taberner, S.Hill 

Sydney: Nic Newman (knee)
Fremantle: Nil 

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Donlon, Hosking, Wallace 

Official crowd: 39,281 at the SCG