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The Sydney Swans tore the West Coast Eagles apart at GMHBA on Sunday in a 92-point demolition.
The game almost ended in a dominant first half that saw the Swans lead by 62 points at the main break.
It was the second-lowest score on the West Coast under coach Adam Simpson and the third-lowest score in club history.
Sydney, sixth, (9-6) has let the rest of the competition know that this is the real deal, while questions will now be put to West Coast (8-7), who sits seventh in the ranking.
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QUARTER BY QUARTER MATCH REPORT
There were no late changes, with James Rowbottom (Sydney) and Jack Petruccelle (West Coast) named medical submarines.
The Swans got off to a quick start in a breezy GMHBA stadium, with Joel Amartey scoring the opening goal. The Swans kicked four of the game’s five majors to put the Eagles on the back early.
The rain started to rain halfway through the first quarter, which made Sydney’s hot start all the more precious.
Buddy Franklin scored an instant goal late in the first quarter to extend the Swans’ lead to 24 points.
The Swans led by 23 points in the first break, 5.2 (32) to 1.3 (9).
The Swans continued their good form with the opening goal of the second quarter thanks to Isaac Heeney.
âThey look a little trustless and very, very worried on the West Coast,â Hawks great Jason Dunstall said on Fox Footy.
“They (Sydney) are almost getting the finishing touch by the time they’re all over the West Coast.”
Fox Footy pundits have pointed out how West Coast’s high possession and ball control style of play does not suit the gloomy conditions.
“There is no system on how they move football right now, the confidence is low.”
Sydney continued to rack up the pain with another goal thanks to Will Hayward to increase the lead to 36 points.
âThis is just a complete dismantling of what we thought was a serious potential finalist,â Dunstall said.
North Melbourne legend David King added: âThe numbers don’t lie – the past six weeks, the West Coast Eagles have been the poorest team in the competition without football. They cannot stop, nor recover the ball, they cannot interrupt or disturb their opponents. They give the Swans a luxury they don’t give back.
A key clash in Sydney’s favor was George Hewett canceling Eagles skipper Luke Shuey down the middle – who was struggling to make an impact.
Jordan Dawson and Sam Wicks scored two more goals for the Swans and suddenly the lead grew to 48 points.
âWe might see the end of an era here, we might just see the four- or five-year West Coast campaign shift,â King said.
Dunstall added: âBut it could be the start of another era with these young Swans playersâ¦ It’s an old fashioned belt.
âI am surprised by the gentle response from West Coast. This is a top six team with visions of maybe being in the top four and they have no response at all. There is no aggression, there is no flair, there is no plan B.
Eagles midfielder Jack Redden (knee) was replaced by Jack Petruccelle in the second term.
Sydney took a whopping 61 point lead at halftime, 11.4 (70) to 1.3 (9).
Sydney came out with the same offensive mentality in the third quarter as Errol Gulden scored on a 50-yard penalty against Alex Witherden.
âHorrible from start to finish,â Dunstall said.
Jermaine Jones became the second Eagle to come off the pitch with a problem in his right ankle, also ending his day.
Josh Kennedy scored the second goal of the long-awaited West Coast game, breaking a 10-game winning streak for the Swans.
I felt like nothing was going on the west coast. with Jeremy McGovern playing on a kick to get choked.
âIt’s just a nightmare,â Dunstall said.
The Swans took a 63-point lead in three quarters, 13.8 (86) to 3.5 (23).
Franklin scored the first goal of the fourth quarter, his third for the game and the 976th of his career, while Heeney followed up with the next major to increase the lead to 81 points.
“It was a dreamy afternoon for the Sydney fans,” said Dwayne Russell.
Dunstall added: âThere is something to be said for building momentum in the home race for the final. Now is a good time to find your best form and Sydney is doing it against what was supposed to be quality opposition. They make them appear second-rate, dominating absolutely in virtually every position. “
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Today’s match has been moved from the SCG to the neutral Geelong site with Sydney and the West Coast temporarily moved interstate due to outbreaks and Covid lockdowns.
LE 3-2-1 (what we learned)
1. THE END OF AN ERA OF THE WEST COAST?
The West Coast was shattered from pillar to pillar early on in this one in a completely one-sided affair.
Adam Simpson’s side looked like a shadow of themselves from the last few seasons – a team that was considered one of the 2021 favorites. In what was a complete Eagles surrender, this could mark the end of an era for their recent success.
He scored their second-lowest score under Simpson (3.8 ) and the third lowest in their history. Their previous low under Simpson was 4.8 (32) in 2014 against Geelong at Kardinia Park.
Their only lower scores in club history are 3.5 (23) against Footscray at Whitten Oval in Round 23, 1992 and 1.12 (18) against Essendon at Windy Hill in Round 15, 1989 .
âWe might see the end of an era here, we might just see the four- or five-year West Coast campaign shift,â King said in the second quarter.
It was the second quarter when things got particularly tough for the West Coast and the numbers don’t lie. Swans crushed them in cessions 125-84 (+41), undisputed possessions: 92-48 (+44), ratings: 34-18 (+16), inside 50s: 21-3 (+ 18) and mosy Especially, on the scoreboard: 6.2-0.0 (+38 points).
Additionally, the West Coast’s 1.3 (9) tally was his sixth-lowest scoring half in club history. It was just a smash for the ages and what is not used to seeing the west coast from the wrong side.
Since their 2018 triumph as premier, the Eagles each of the past two seasons, losing a semi-final and playoff final since.
Perhaps what is of most concern for West Coast is that they can’t put this one on injury, with Gaff being their only scoring player missing today.
“The question is where do the West Coast Eagles go from here?” A very experienced line-up today, only Andrew Gaff has returned of any real importance.
2. THE EAGLES HOODOO GMHBA CONTINUES
It’s no surprise that Sydney chose to âhostâ the West Coast at GMHBA today.
The Eagles have a horror track record in Geelong, getting run over on their last five highway trips from Melbourne.
Ahead of today’s result, West Coast have lost their previous four games at the GMHBA stadium by 97 points (2021), 58 points (2019), 44 points (2016) and 75 points (2014) all against Geelong.
“They can’t get close there (GMHBA stadium) can they?” Dunstall said on Fox Footy
King replied, âThe last time they were here the coach called them weak. I don’t know what he is going to say today. These are big margins, aren’t they?
This brings the West Coast’s overall record at the site to 8-1-16 with a win rate of just 34%. The only active ground they are doing the worst on is ironically in the SCG, where the Eagles hold a 4-16 record with a 2-0% win rate.
Interestingly, the GMHBA stadium is unfamiliar territory for the Swans, who had not played in Geelong since 2019.
3. THE SACRIFIC ROLE OF THE BUDDY
Normally the forward focal point, Buddy Franklin played a more sacrificial role today in a mature performance to help Sydney achieve her massive victory.
Franklin did a good job isolating Barrass, arguably the best defensive stopper on the West Coast, and opening up opportunities for his teammates.
This allowed Isaac Heeney (three goals), Sam Wicks, Errol Gulden, Joel Amartey, Will Hayward and Tom Papley (both goals) to have more space and free themselves from the leash.
âHe (Franklin) sacrificed a lot today. He maintained his position and allowed Amartey to be the target, he allowed Heeney to be the target, âDavid King said on Fox Footy.
âHe tried to keep (Tom) Barrass out of the action and engaged.
âHe allowed others to step up and have their time. But when it was his moment, he capitalized and put on a little show.
Franklin himself scored three goals, but showed an ability to play a different role and impact the game in new ways.
His three majors bring his career tally to 976 goals as he nears the 1,000 mark.
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