Sam Wicks celebrates a goal during the R21 match between Sydney and GWS at Giants Stadium on August 5, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

LIFE after Buddy has started in the best possible way, with a free-wheeling Sydney winning by 11 points on Saturday night to snap the Giants' seven-game winning streak.

The deadly-accurate Swans kicked 11 goals without a miss in the first half – from just 23 inside 50s – to bankroll the win, and held firm as the Giants made an inevitable run in the second half.

GIANTS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

The 15.6 (96) to 12.13 (85) victory was the Swans' fourth on the trot and moves them to 10th spot on the ladder ahead of hosting Gold Coast next weekend.

Errol Gulden was fabulous for the winners, kicking two incredible goals – including a steadier in the fourth term – from his 32 disposals to claim his first Brett Kirk Medal.

Luke Parker and Callum Mills were also prolific, while Robbie Fox did a fabulous job in limiting Toby Greene, although the Giants skipper finished with three goals.


Sydney's first-half efficiency was remarkable, as it launched attack after attack from the defensive side of centre and converted them into goals.

In the same week that Lance Franklin retired, the young forwards were particularly impressive, with Hayden McLean (three of his four goals) and Joel Amartey (two) taking advantage of some blistering play further afield.


If it wasn't Aaron Francis intercept marking, it was Jake Lloyd's creativity or Braeden Campbell's kicking as Sydney made lightning quick decisions once forcing turnovers.

It ensured the Giants' defence, which had not conceded more than 75 points in their previous seven matches, had almost no time to set up.

The finishing was incredible, with Gulden's 40m left-footed checkside on the run from the left boundary almost matched by Isaac Heeney's ridiculous snap on the right foot from almost the same spot minutes later.


At the other end, GWS gained repeat entry after repeat entry, and kept the scoreboard ticking, but trailed by 18 at the half.

Once the rain came, the ball pinged around as both teams attacked the contest with ferocity.


The Giants made a late run in the fourth quarter with successive goals to Callan Ward and Greene to get within six points, but a Chad Warner snap steadied the ship for the Swans as they held on to win.

Tom Green (38) was fantastic in his first game back from injury, while Stephen Coniglio, Kieren Briggs and Toby Bedford were also strong contributors.


Who did it better – Errol or Isaac?
Sydney teammates Errol Gulden and Isaac Heeney might both be in the running for Goal of the Week honours after incredible finishes in the second quarter. Running at almost full tilt along the boundary line, Gulden somehow uncorked a 40m checkside on his left foot that never looked like missing. Just 10 minutes later it was Heeney's turn, gathering a loose ball, and off two steps unleashing a right foot snap that sailed high and straight.

Daniel set to be scrutinised by MRO
A fourth-quarter incident involving Brent Daniels is sure to be assessed by MRO Michael Christian. The Giants small forward was trying to pressure Swan Jake Lloyd who had gathered the ball, but as he went by appeared to collect him high with a forearm or shoulder. Lloyd stayed down for a few seconds before getting to his feet to take his free kick. He left the field a few minutes later to be assessed but returned to the field to play the game out.


Robbie Fox does the job on Toby Greene
If Toby Greene was going to be the matchwinner again for GWS – as he was when the teams met earlier this season – he was going to have to earn every kick with Robbie Fox assigned to him from the first bounce. Greene struggled to get involved early despite the plethora of inside 50s generated by his team. But as he always does, he found a way to impact, kicking a goal off the ground in the second term, winning a free kick and guiding through another in the third and then kicking another in the fourth. Despite this, Fox was incredible, gathering 12 intercept disposals to be one of his team's best.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY        4.2       7.6       10.9     12.13 (85)
SYDNEY         5.0       11.0     13.2     15.6 (96)

Greater Western Sydney: Greene 3, Brown 2, Hogan 2, Ward, Riccardi, Lloyd, Haynes, Bedford
Sydney: McLean 4, Amartey 2, Gulden 2, Heeney 2, Wicks, Warner, Papley, Hayward, Florent

Greater Western Sydney: Green, Coniglio, Briggs, Bedford, Ash, Ward
Sydney: Gulden, Lloyd, Parker, Fox, Mills, McLean, Rowbottom 

Greater Western Sydney: Nil
Sydney: Nil 

Greater Western Sydney: Finn Callaghan (soreness) replaced in selected side by Isaac Cumming
Sydney: Nil

Greater Western Sydney: Ryan Angwin (replaced Jake Riccardi in the third quarter)
Sydney: Dylan Stephens (replaced Logan McDonald at three quarter time)

Crowd: 19,332 at Giants Stadium