TRIPLE-premiership coach Damien Hardwick has described Sydney's win over his side as "Richmond-like", saying the injury-hit Tigers deserved to lose by 10 goals on Saturday.

The Swans stunned the reigning back-to-back premiers by jumping to a 40-point lead at half-time and ran out 45-point winners at the MCG as they kept their unbeaten streak alive. 

The Tigers, who will be missing gun defender Nick Vlastuin for at least another month after secondary scans showed his knee injury to be more serious than initially thought, were outplayed on their home turf.

06:53 Mins
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Highlights: Richmond v Sydney

The Tigers and Swans clash in round 3

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"Credit where credit's due, I thought they were simply outstanding," Hardwick said post game.

"To be honest, the score flattered us I reckon. I felt like it was a 10-goal loss. I thought they killed us in every facet of the game – offensively, defensively, contest. They were just simply brilliant,"

TIGERS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats

"We're disappointed in our performance, but sometimes you meet a side that's going so well and they teach a few lessons which they did today. Credit to John (Longmire) and his side, they're playing a wonderful brand of footy."

It was a far cry from the last time the sides met when, after a rain-affected clash at the Gabba, Hardwick slammed the Swans' defensive game style and later apologised for his comments. 

"I just thought they played a really good brand of footy: attacking, they were hard to defend, they moved the ball incredibly well and some of their stuff looked Richmond-like, if that makes sense," Hardwick said. 

06:15 Mins
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"Their forward-half turnover game was very strong, they made us make some mistakes we don't normally make and that's what good sides do, they punish you. They're in a really good spot at the moment."

Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin finished the game with an iced hamstring, but Hardwick said it was "precautionary" while Vlastuin's injury from round one will see him missing for at least another four weeks. Dion Prestia (hamstring) and Kamdyn McIntosh (concussion) were also casualties of Saturday's defeat. 

While Hardwick was keen to talk up the Swans post-game, Longmire was keen to quell expectations on Sydney despite its phenomenal and high-scoring 3-0 start to the season.

It is an amazing turnaround from last year's 16th-placed finish on the ladder, but the Swans coach said his young side, which could have a hat-trick of NAB AFL Rising Star nominees after Chad Warner's excellent showing, needed to stick to what was working. 

"I just look at the next week and always have. It's the reality of the game and it's just what the game is. I've been in the game a long time and you acknowledge the aspects we got right, and we got a lot right today, which was terrific and we're pleased with what we see and then we'll get on with it," Longmire said.

"That's also the exciting thing about it [that] 'OK, boys, you get reinforcement for what you do and you work hard and that's what happens', and that's what makes them feel good after a game."

10:13 Mins
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Longmire hit back at Hardwick last year for his comments about the Swans' style but said it didn't make the victory any sweeter. 

"No. 'Dimma' and I spoke at the end of last year so [we] get on with it. He's a very good coach, they're a great team," he said.

Longmire said superstar forward Lance Franklin is likely to return against Essendon next week after being managed against the Tigers.