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Knee blow sours Swans' win over Gold Coast

Jude Bolton of the Swans tackles Michael Rischitelli of the Suns during the 2013 NAB Cup round 03 match between the Sydney Swans and the Gold Coast Suns at Blacktown International Sportspark, Sydney. (Photo: Craig Golding/AFL Media)
Swan veteran Jude Bolton takes down Michael Rischitelli at Blacktown on Saturday night
THE SYDNEY Swans ramped up preparations for their premiership defence by swatting aside the Gold Coast by 36 points on Saturday night.

With Adam Goodes, Nick Malceski, Rhyce Shaw and Shane Mumford making their first appearances of the pre-season, the Swans dismissed any concerns over a lacklustre NAB Cup in a 0.11.14 (80) to 0.6.8 (44) stroll.

However, a knee injury to defender Alex Johnson soured the result for the premiers. Johnson was taken from the ground on a stretcher in the opening term, and reports after the match suggested he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament.

Like Grand Final foes Hawthorn, the Swans had endured a winless pre-season prior to Saturday night, but blew off the cobwebs just three weeks out from their season opener against Greater Western Sydney.

Only three members of last year's flag-winning side – Nick Smith (knee), Marty Mattner (hip) and Mitch Morton (back) – sat out as coach John Longmire fine-tuned his preparations.

Goodes, Malceski, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker all kicked two goals each, with Jarrad McVeigh, fellow co-captain Kieren Jack and Dan Hannebery showing excellent touch.

The Suns, who rested captain Gary Ablett, Karmichael Hunt and Jarrod Harbrow, were still hopeful of a competitive showing against the premiers, but it largely failed to eventuate.

Harley Bennell (two goals) was dangerous, teenager Jaeger O'Meara managed 24 possessions and Campbell Brown added two goals of his own, but the Suns were outclassed for most of the evening.

Steven May also took a nice grab early in the final term for the visitors, who open their season against St Kilda at Metricon Stadium.
Apart from the Johnson incident, there was little else of note in a subdued opening term, with Kennedy kicking the only goal for the quarter.

But the Swans sprung into life in the second quarter, responding to an early Bennell goal with six unanswered majors for a match-winning 43-point half-time lead.

The Suns now host Melbourne in a practice match next Saturday, while the Swans travel to AAMI Stadium to take on Port Adelaide.

SYDNEY SWANS    0.1.2    0.7.8     0.9.12     0.11.14 (80)
GOLD COAST          0.0.1    0.1.1     0.3.6       0.6.8 (44)
Sydney Swans:
Gold Coast: Nil

Sydney Swans:
Malceski 2, Goodes 2, Kennedy 2, Parker 2, McGlynn, Jack, Bolton
Gold Coast: Bennell 2, Brown 2, Brennan, Matera
Sydney Swans:
McVeigh, Kennedy, Hannebery, Shaw, Grundy, Malceski, Bolton
Gold Coast: Bennell, O'Meara, Broughton, Rischitelli, Swallow

Sydney Swans:
Johnson (knee), Bird (head cut)
Gold Coast: Nil
Reports: Nil
McBurney, Kamolins, Armstrong, Pauley