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Swans belt Blues to make it two from two

Highlights: Carlton v Sydney Swans The Blues and Swans clash in round 2
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 3: Callum Sinclair of the Swans celebrates after kicking a goal during the 2016 AFL Round 02 match between the Carlton Blues and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on April 3, 2016. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)
Callum Sinclair celebrates one of his three goals

THE SYDNEY Swans have outmuscled and eventually overwhelmed a valiant Carlton, running out 60-point winners at Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening.

The Blues tried to hang tough with their more experienced opponents, but the Swans' avalanche of inside 50 entries (69-44) inevitably took its toll in the 20.11 (131) to 10.11 (71) win. 

Full match coverage and stats

As is often the case, the Swans' irrepressible and battle-hardened midfield – led superbly by Tom Mitchell and Luke Parker – was a major factor in their victory. 

Mitchell set the tone around the clinches with one of the best games of his AFL career, racking up a game-high 34 disposals to go with nine tackles. 

Parker (29 touches) backed up his best afield display against Collingwood last week with another fabulous game, while Lance Franklin again loomed large, particularly in the second half, to bag four goals. 

Ruck recruit and former Eagle Callum Sinclair got the better of Matthew Kreuzer, beating his Blues counterpart around the ground to be one of the most damaging players on the ground with 17 disposals, seven marks and three goals.

Five talking points: Carlton v Sydney Swans

There was plenty of spite throughout contest, culminating in a full-scale melee at half-time after Franklin swung Zach Tuohy around in a tackle and into the behind post as the siren sounded. 

A mass of Blues players ran down to remonstrate with Franklin and the players came to blows in front of the Swans' cheersquad at the Coventry end of the ground.

The players took at least five minutes to sort themselves out and most of them might find themselves a little lighter in the pocket after the Match Review Panel takes a look at the vision. 

At a number of junctures throughout the match, the Swans appeared as if they might run away with the contest, emphasised by the five-goal burst they put together in just 10 minutes of play to close out the second term.

But to their credit, the Blues did not give in with a whimper and time again defended grimly as the Swans controlled the play in their forward half.

"I thought at different times we were challenged by Carlton, they've still got some pretty good players," Swans coach John Longmire said after the game.

WATCH: John Longmire's full post-match media conference

They surged a couple of different times and we were able to hold and reply. The way we handled that was a real plus."

After weeks of criticism much-maligned Blue Dale Thomas turned in what was probably his finest performance in his two seasons at Carlton. 

Thomas, who has been ravaged by injury, displayed bits and pieces of the explosiveness he was renowned for during his time at Collingwood and generally used the ball well in his 25 touches.

With Patrick Cripps well held, Matthew Wright (26 touches), Kade Simpson (25) and Zach Tuohy (24) stepped up to be the other major ball winners for the Blues.

Carlton coach Brendon Bolton said his team let itself down with its efforts to win the contested ball throughout the game.

"We'll go and review the tape, but the contested possession count, other than in the third quarter, speaks for itself," Bolton said.

"We do it for periods of time, but we need consistency with it. We needed consistency last week in terms of being able to finish with foot skills, this week it’s a bit more the contested side of the game.

WATCH: Brendon Bolton's full post-match media conference

The Swans now join the Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast and North Melbourne as the only undefeated teams after round two.


Carlton: Blaine Boekhorst received a lot of treatment from the Blues' medical staff on a corked left thigh in a marking contest in the first quarter. The youngster returned to the action with a big bandage on his thigh in the second term. Jed Lamb also had his left calf heavily taped.

Sydney Swans: The Swans came out of the contest with no injury concerns, with veteran Ted Richards (calf) getting through the game unscathed. 

The Sydney Swans will be looking for a 3-0 start to the season against cross-town rival Greater Western Sydney, in what looms as the biggest Sydney derby to date. The Blues travel to the Gold Coast to face the red-hot Suns fresh from their big win over Fremantle.

CARLTON                 3.2   4.5     6.10   10.11  (71)
SYDNEY SWANS      4.4   10.7   14.7   20.11  (131)

Carlton: Kerridge 2, Casboult 2, Murphy, Gibbs, Kreuzer, Boekhorst, Curnow, Everitt
Sydney Swans: Franklin 4, Tippett 4, Sinclair 3, Papley 2, Kennedy 2, Heeney, Cunningham, Parker, Robinson, Hewett 

Carlton: Simpson, Kerridge, Gibbs, Docherty, Cripps, Thomas
Sydney Swans: Parker, Hannebery, Mitchell, Papley, Tippett, Sinclair, Franklin 

Carlton: Boekhorst (corkie)
Sydney Swans: Nil

Reports: Nil 

Umpires: Findlay, Jeffery, Mollison

Official crowd: 33,146