Have Sydney’s swans found a southern fortress to overcome Covid lockdowns?
One thing is for sure, the West Coast Eagles failed to do so after their second massive GMHBA defeat this season.
The Eagles, beaten by the Cats by 97 points in the sixth round, were placed in third place by a club playing their first “home” game at the venerable site of Geelong, this time by 92 points.
Beating the Eagles is nothing new for Sydney – it’s now 13-3 since the start of the 2008 season – but doing it against potential opponents in the final is just as impressive to the pseudo-hosts as it is overwhelming against the Eagles, who spiced up a bad name.
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Remarkably on a ground where Geelong has long dominated, Sydney is now 4-1 in their last five visits.
But the reading isn’t as good for the Eagles, who have won only once at Kardinia Park since 2000 and, since that win in 2006, they have now lost eight straight games for a combined total of 548. points.
The Swans were first to the ball, ran hard to create space on the rare occasion where the Eagles put one of their teammates under pressure and effectively sealed the result halfway through a second tenure in which they had a superb 21-3 inside the 50s. .
To sum up the Eagles ‘incompetence at GMHBA this year, they scored just one point against their opponents’ 16.3 (99) in the second quarter alone – and posted their lowest total since 1992 and the third lowest ever.
Sydney was very consistent on the pitch, but will welcome the eye-opening contributions of half-back Jordan Dawson – who scored his first and second goals of the season – the expanding Joel Amartey and local product James Bell.
Amartey scored a few points as a forward, was more than usable as a second ruckman, and added two goals in his fifth game only in red and white, while Bell showed flashes of brilliance in his 17th game. only.
But for a dominant midfielder, there were plenty of targets to hit as what was little more than a training exercise evolved.
Remarkably, eight Swans had multiple goals, evidenced by the inimitable Lance Franklin, whose top three tied majors included a 45m “Buddy Special” slam through his body while being crunched in the second quarter.
For the Eagles, it probably wasn’t surprising that Tom Barrass and Shannon Hurn were among their best given that the heat map of the contest was essentially in their backyard.
Dom Sheed put in a big effort in the midfield, but unfortunately he was knocked out against Mills, Hewett, Florent and company, who were relentless throughout.
you will be sorry
Luke Shuey immediately reached out to apologize to Callum Mills after connecting with young Swan’s head with a wild swinging arm midway through the second term after being unable to legally break a tackle.
But whether his “sorry, mate” will carry any weight will only be determined by the MRO reviewed after the veteran Eagle is entered in the referee’s book.
Shuey had been frustrated twice earlier when his attempts to shrug his shoulders and get them into high contact went unrewarded by the referees.
Will Hayward, who has never been opposed to a bit of on-camera time after the goal, was just starting to warm up in his work after a sensational snap not far from famed Major Gary Ablett Jr.
But just as the celebrations were reaching a climax, the referee brought them to a screeching halt when he paid for the goal line holding against Joel Amartey to Jeremy McGovern of the West Coast.
It probably didn’t help Hayward’s disposition that a similar touch wasn’t penalized countless times in the league this weekend. But his angst became good news for a youngster walking by the Kardinia Park pool minutes later when the Swans forward pierced a goal from the square with a torpedo that flew over the players’ pit.
It’s unclear whether the fans are from the Western District or the former loyalists from South Melbourne, but Swans fans have flocked to the GMHBA stadium in droves.
Singing SCG’s favorite “Sweet Caroline” in the quarter-time, the Red and White loyalists grew stronger throughout and gave their heroes an enthusiastic farewell after the game, showing their appreciation for a dominating effort.
The sea of red in the social club area typically owned by Cats fans was a marked difference from the normal blue and white, but just as proud of their charges.
SYDNEY SWANS 5.2 11.4 13.8 18.10 (118)
WEST COAST EAGLES 1.3 1.3 3.5 3.8 (26)
Sydney: Franklin 3, Heeney 3, Hayward 2, Amartey 2, Wicks 2, Gulden 2, Dawson 2, Papley 2.
West Coast: Yeo, Kennedy, Darling.
THE BEST OF MARK HAYES
Sydney: Mills, Florent, Amartey, Dawson, Parker, Franklin.
West Coast: Barrass, Hurn, Sheed, Darling.
MARK HAYES VOTE
3 – Callum Mills (SYD)
2 – Olivier Florent (SYD)
1 – Joël Amartey (SYD)
West Coast: Redden (knee), Jones (ankle). Yeo (toe).
Reports: Luke Shuey (WCE) for allegedly hitting Callum Mills (SYD) in the second quarter.