Sydney players celebrate a goal during round eight, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY has kicked its highest ever score to pile on more pain for the Western Bulldogs, claiming its fourth win of the season by 57 points on Saturday afternoon. 

Co-captain Chloe Molloy led the way for the Swans both on the scoreboard and breaking lines through the middle, as they worked to the 14.12 (96) to 6.3 (39) scoreline at Whitten Oval. 

Molloy, who kicked an equal-career high three goals in the opening half, created problems for the Dogs defenders early before bringing teammates along with her as the game wore on. 


The Swans were strong and attacking out of the middle, leaning on the power of Montana Ham and agility of Laura Gardiner to break free of the Dogs and hit up targets inside 50.  

Ham played her best game of the season, with 17 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal and covering the ground with ease. Meanwhile Gardiner continued her ball winning ways with 31 disposals, six clearances and a goal. 

In defence the Bulldogs lacked organisation, leaving pockets of space for the Swans' forwards to lead into, and the visitors took full advantage of these opportunities. Sydney finished the game with 13 marks inside 50 as it shared the goalkicking around nine different players. 


The Swans moved the ball quickly, but neatly, through the middle of the ground in an attempt to find the most direct route to goal, catching the Bulldogs out for speed. 

After last week's loss to Hawthorn, Sydney coach Scott Gowans signalled a lack of consistent work rate, something his side well and truly rectified on Saturday.

Catching their Dogs opponents out with impressive spread from the contest and run into attack, it was a win built on work rate, proven by the stats as they won the disposal count (291-238) and only losing the tackle count by one. 

BULLDOGS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

A maiden career goal for defender Issy Grant in the third quarter spurred a patch of strong footy from the Bulldogs, leading to consecutive goals and some genuine territory dominance for the first time in the game. 

Debutant Jorja Borg, a Bulldogs train-on player named in the side due to its long injury list, performed well, winning the hitout count with 29, while captain Ellie Blackburn was tireless as ever, with 30 disposals, eight tackles and eight clearances. 

Both teams will be disappointed by some poor discipline throughout the game, leading to seven 50m penalties paid across the day, and shots on goal from free kicks at crucial moments. 


A record breaking day for the Swans 
After a tough first season where they went winless, the Swans enjoyed a record-breaking day against the Bulldogs. Piling on their highest ever score, beating their 51 points in round one this season, they also registered their most individual goalkickers with nine, while also recording the highest score the Bulldogs have ever conceded in the AFLW. The club's first ever AFLW signing Ruby Sargent-Wilson also hit the scoreboard for the first time in her career, while Brooke Lochland kicked her first of the season, against her old side no less. 

The Chloe show 
Largely playing forward against the Dogs, rather than the midfield role she has become known for at the Swans, co-captain Chloe Molloy put on a show for Victorian fans. Moving well inside 50, taking 11 marks, she kicked an equal-career high three goals. But nothing was better than her run through the middle of the ground just as the Bulldogs were pressing in the third quarter, resulting in a Cynthia Hamilton goal. Her constant effort caused a headache for the Dogs' defenders all day. 

Up next 
Sydney will return to Henson Park to host a surging Collingwood in what will be Chloe Molloy's first game against her old side, while the Bulldogs will head west to play the Eagles at Mineral Resources Park. 


WESTERN BULLDOGS             1.0    2.1    4.2     6.3 (39) 
SYDNEY                                   3.5    8.7    12.8   14.12 (96) 

Western Bulldogs: Cranston, Lamb, Grant, Wilcox, Bateman, Newton 
Sydney: Molloy 3, C.Hamilton 2, Sargent-Wilson 2, Hurley 2, Privitelli, Lochland, Beruldsen, Ham, Gardiner 

Western Bulldogs: Blackburn, Lamb, Pritchard, Georgostathis 
Sydney: Molloy, Ham, Gardiner, Hurley, C.Hamilton, Tarrant 

Western Bulldogs: Nil 
Sydney: Paige Sheppard (concussion)

Crowd: 2,982 at Whitten Oval