Sydney 22.16 (148) Geelong 5.8 (38)
SYDNEY 4.4 8.9 14.11 22.16 (148) GEELONG 0.3 1.3 2.4 5.8 (38)
GOALS Sydney: Tippett 5, Franklin 4, Goodes 3 Hannebery 2, Jack 2, Derickx 2, McGlynn, Bird, Lloyd, Jetta. Geelong: Hawkins 3, Simpson, Johnson.
Best: Sydney Malceski, Bird, McGlynn , Shaw, Tippett Geelong: Kelly, Hawkins
UMPIRES: Ben Ryan, Mathew Nicholls, Leigh Fisher.
CROWD: 37,355 at SCG.
If Sydney's rivals were not worried about them before, they should be now. Chumps seven weeks ago, the Swans are pushing for premiership favouritism after one of the most impressive performances of the season.
Daniel Hannebery and Travis Varcoe reach for the ball. Photo: Anthony Johnson
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Tippett (5.3), Franklin (4.3), Goodes (3.1), Jack (2.1), Derickx (2.0), Hannebery (2.0), McGlynn (1.1), Bird (1.0), Jetta (1.0), Lloyd (1.0), Malceski (0.2), Kennedy (0.1), McVeigh (0.1), Smith (0.1)||Scorers||Hawkins (3.1), Johnson (1.1), Simpson (1.0), Kelly (0.1), Murdoch (0.1), Selwood (0.1)|
It may have taken until round 11 but, with the exception of possibly Port Adelaide, there is no team playing hotter football than the Swans. How they must wish it was already September because in this form they would prove incredibly difficult to beat.
The Swans, after a record 110-point win over one of the league's modern-day heavyweights, have now beaten leading fancies Geelong, Hawthorn and Fremantle in their six-game winning streak.
It had been billed as a battle between two premiership contenders but as a contest this game was over by quarter-time and a bloodbath an hour later.
Daniel Hannebery celebrates a late goal wth Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy. Photo: Anthony Johnson
Seldom in the past eight years have the Cats been made to look as poor as they were by the rampant Swans on Thursday night.
The Cats' half-time score of 1.3 (9) was their lowest since 1977 and their final tally of 38 their worst effort in 13 years.
Having already lost to Port Adelaide and Fremantle, the Cats' premiership credentials have been significantly weakened in the past month.
Conversely, Sydney's latest success highlighted why the team which looks so good on paper is an equally daunting prospect on the field.
A team which already had a miserly defence and a star-studded midfield now has a dream forward line to finish off.
There was a cricket saying in the 1970s which suggested if Thomson doesn't get you, then Lillee will. They could say something similar about Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett. And if they don't then there's a dual Brownlow Medallist eager to finish the job.
The combination of Franklin, Tippett and Adam Goodes has graced the field together only three times but the chemistry between the trio is already evident.
They were aided by a Geelong defence missing key backman Tom Lonergan and unable to cope with an avalanche of forward thrusts by a rampant Swans midfield.
Early on it was Tippett who reigned supreme, making the most of a favourable match-up against Jared Rivers. He might have had four on the board by quarter-time though had to settle for two. He finished with five for the night, dished off several others and looms as an even more dangerous target than Franklin.
Franklin sacrificed a part of his game by dragging his opponent Harry Taylor higher up the ground but, with 23 possessions, was creative. He kicked two of his four goals in the third quarter when the Swans buried their hapless opponents.
Ominous throughout was Goodes, who must be the best third forward in the history of the game. Goodes, however, faces a nervous few days awaiting the findings of the match review panel after a clumsy high hit on Joel Selwood in the third quarter.
The Swans' dominance, however, started in the midfield where they outran and outmuscled the Cats.
But it was not their star quartet of Josh Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack and Dan Hannebery responsible for the damage but the next tier of runners such as Craig Bird, Luke Parker and Ben McGlynn.
McGlynn and Bird shut out Selwood, who, along with Steve Johnson, has carved up the Swans in recent seasons.
Johnson, too, was uncharacteristically quiet though he was not on his own on a dirty night for the Cats.
Capping off a horror night, they lost triple premiership defender Andrew Mackie to a suspected rib injury. He finished the match in the red vest after being accidentally kneed by McGlynn in the third quarter.
The Cats melted under the Swans' fierce pressure. Whenever the Cats had the ball they were swarmed upon by multiple Swans and forced into sloppy or speculative kicks forward.
Their thrusts forward usually resulted in the ball heading back over their heads with interest, usually kicked by one of Nick Malceski or Rhyce Shaw, who were deadly on the counterattack.
By game's end the Cats bore no resemblance to a team which prides itself on playing the way the game should be played.