Isaac Heeney celebrates a goal during Sydney's clash against Geelong in round 13, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

SYDNEY has rubber stamped its credentials as the clear premiership fancy after overrunning Geelong to secure an eighth win on the trot with a 30-point victory at the SCG.

In a see-sawing contest, the Cats made a scintillating start and piled on the first six goals of the game until the ladder-leading Swans surged back with the next five before the main break.

SWANS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

The Swans broke the game open with a streak of four goals either side of the last change before holding off a late Cats fightback for a 16.16 (112) to 12.10 (82) triumph on Sunday.

Chad Warner booted the sealer on the run with less than four minutes remaining to help lift the Swans to an 11-1 record and their best start to a season since 1935.


The Cats showed signs of returning to their best as they led by as much as 35 points in the second term, but have now fallen back into the pack with a fifth defeat from their past six matches. 

The Swans turned the contest as ruck recruit Brodie Grundy (25 disposals with 21 contested, 35 hitouts) made his mark at the stoppages, while midfielders Warner (26 touches, two goals), Isaac Heeney (26, two) and Errol Gulden (37, one) continued their superb seasons.


Heeney ensured the Swans made the most of their comeback with two goals in less than a minute on the cusp of half-time, while Tom Papley booted four after the main break.

Joel Amartey was the dominant key forward on the field, marking strongly inside 50 and finishing with three goals after finding his range following a streak of Swans posters.

The Cats stunned the Swans in the opening term as they booted five majors while holding the ladder leaders to only three behinds to the first change. 

Gryan Miers played a critical role in the Cats bursting out of the blocks, slotting the opening goal and having three more score involvements from eight disposals in the first term. 


Tyson Stengle was another Cat to light up the match early, snapping a superb goal from deep in the forward pocket and just inside the boundary line, then adding another from a set shot soon after.

The goalsneak's second came from a free kick in the same pocket after he pounced on Lewis Melican trying to make his way out of defence, as the Cats ramped up the pressure to dismantle the Swans.

Max Holmes (23 disposals, one goal) added dash for the Cats, while Jeremy Cameron (21, two) was first a valuable outlet while playing off a wing then a threat once moved to the goalsquare late in the match.

But once the Swans lifted the game quickly turned as the hosts defeated the Cats for the first time since their 2022 Grand Final clash to clinch John Longmire's 200th win as coach.

Stengle snaps a stunner to seal Cats' fast start
Geelong made a dazzling start with three early majors but Tyson Stengle soon added more glitter with a sensational snap from the boundary. Gryan Miers seemed to intentionally tumble a kick low through a pack and into the forward 50 with Stengle then the quickest to pounce on the loose ball. The Cats' goalsneak got the ball onto his right boot as Dane Rampe and the boundary line closed in, arcing it perfectly to bend through for a goal. The livewire added a second from the same pocket with a set shot later in the first term as the Cats stunned the ladder leaders with a scintillating opening.


Heeney sparks Swans with back-to-back goals
The Swans were already chasing the Cats down when gun forward-turned-midfielder Isaac Heeney stepped up with two goals in a minute. The first came from a ball-up at the top of the goalsquare as Swans ruck Brodie Grundy deftly tapped to open space for Heeney to snap truly, but it was the second that all but completed the comeback. Heeney made it back-to-back goals immediately from the centre bounce as he gathered then sprinted to the 50m arc and slotted a long bomb to reduce the margin to one kick. 


The Swans turn the SCG into a fortress
Sydney might have given Geelong a six-goal head start but it didn't take much for it to edge back into the contest in front of a noisy, parochial crowd. The Swans have now won all six of their matches at the SCG by an average of 36 points this season as they turn their home into a fortress with what now looks all but certain to include two finals as hosts to come. With 44,714 – the second highest home and away crowd ever at the venue – watching the comeback, average attendances have now reached 39,952 as the red-hot Swans take their fans for a glorious ride.

SYDNEY             0.3     5.6     9.13     16.16 (112)  
GEELONG          5.2     6.5      8.8       12.10 (82)  

Sydney: Papley 4, Amartey 3, Warner 2, Heeney 2, McInerney, Lloyd, Jordon, Hayward, Gulden
Stengle 3, Cameron 2, Bowes 2, Neale, Miers, Holmes, Hawkins, Close

Sydney: Warner, Grundy, Gulden, Heeney, Amartey, Adams, McInerney
Holmes, Cameron, Stengle, O'Connor, Stewart

Sydney: Nil

Sydney: Braeden Campbell (replaced Nick Blakey in the fourth quarter)
Gary Rohan (replaced Shannon Neale in the third quarter)

Crowd: 44,714 at the SCG