Joel Amartey celebrates a goal for Sydney against Gold Coast in R6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY has rediscovered its blistering best as ruck recruit Brodie Grundy set the tone in his milestone match for a thumping 53-point victory over Gold Coast at the SCG.

After a scintillating start to the season, the Swans had shown signs of slowing down in their two matches before a bye, but appeared refreshed as they carved up the Suns in a 17.8 (110) to 8.9 (57) triumph on Sunday.

SWANS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats

The Swans returned with their rapid and precise ball movement, but added more muscle around the stoppages as they brushed aside a Suns' challenge with eight consecutive goals from halfway through the third term.

Grundy was critical to the Swans matching the Suns at the coalface, the prized ruck recruit having an equal career-high 11 tackles while also gathering 24 disposals, 29 hitouts and booting a goal in his 200th AFL match.


The veteran ruck's former Collingwood teammate Taylor Adams showed the Swans what he can add to their midfield with 19 disposals including 11 contested, as well as six tackles in his second match for his third club.

Joel Amartey booted four goals for the Swans as their first nine majors all came from set shots, while Tom Papley (three goals), Logan McDonald, Sam Wicks and Will Hayward (all two) added to the spread of weapons inside the forward 50.

Errol Gulden (30 disposals), Isaac Heeney (28), Justin McInerney (26) and Oliver Florent (25) ensured the Swans had too many options running through the midfield as the young Suns ran out of steam.


James Rowbottom (19 disposals, five clearances) went to Matt Rowell (20, nine) at the first bounce and rarely left his side at the stoppages from there, the Suns onballer gradually edging their hard-nosed duel.

The Suns worked their way into the contest in the second term, slowing the Swans' run and carry through the midfield to hold them goalless while adding two majors of their own.

But they were unable to keep pace with the Swans when the game was on the line in the second half, especially with spearhead Ben King (two goals) well held by Tom McCartin.


Sam Flanders (29 disposals) found plenty of the ball playing off half-back but will want to tidy up some of his kicking as the Suns look to make the most of opposition turnovers.

The Suns co-captains Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller (23 disposals) battled hard but they ultimately had too few contributors to prevent the Swans from returning to form.



Tom Papley reels in a screamer
The SCG faithful have seen their fair share of classic catches over the years, but Tom Papley was an unlikely addition with a diving mark that wouldn't have been out of place in a slips cordon. The zippy forward found space near the boundary as Errol Gulden fired in a trademark dart, but Papley still had to nudge out Suns defender Charlie Ballard to protect the drop of the ball. Papley dived hard and low to clutch the mark, then went back and snapped a goal from the boundary line as the Swans surged in the third term.


Future is bright for Suns Academy graduates
Gold Coast lined up with all four Academy graduates that it took in the first round of last year's draft in what already looms as a watershed moment. Jake Rogers came in for his debut alongside Jed Walter, Ethan Read and Will Graham and looked comfortable even while spending time at the coalface against the Swans. But it was athletic key forward Walter that again shined brightest, capping off a combative display with a classy left-foot snap from the tightest of angles after being paid a contentious mark on the boundary line in the second term.


Sam Wicks makes welcome return
Sam Wicks was a critical addition to the Swans forward set up after missing their past two matches following a personal dispute with a teammate. The fiery small forward helped lift Sydney's pressure that had been off the mark in the shock loss to Richmond and lacklustre victory over West Coast before the bye. Wicks booted a major in the first term and received the congratulations of his teammates, suggesting all has been forgiven inside the Bloods' camp, then added another in the second half.

Sam Wicks celebrates a goal for Sydney against Gold Coast in R6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY              5.3       5.4       12.8      17.8 (110)
GOLD COAST      1.2       3.5       5.7       8.9 (57)

Sydney: Amartey 4, Papley 3, Hayward 2, McDonald 2, Wicks 2, Heeney, Grundy, Jordon, McInerney, Warner
Gold Coast: King 2, Anderson, Clohesy, Fiorini, Humphrey, Miller, Walter

Sydney: Grundy, Heeney, Papley, Gulden, Amartey, McInerney, McCartin
Gold Coast: Rowell, Flanders, Miller, Berry, Witts

Sydney: Nil
Gold Coast: Nil

Sydney: Braeden Campbell (replaced Lewis Melican in the fourth quarter)
Gold Coast: David Swallow (replaced Ethan Read in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 35,649 at the SCG