Sydney Swans 105 – 76 St Kilda
The Swans extended their magnificent winning run to 7 on the trot (their best streak in 16 years) with a very tough 15.15 (105) to 10.16 (76) win over the Saints at the SCG on Sunday.
St Kilda, the last side to inflict defeat upon Sydney, was pretty relentless all game. Scott Watters’ men were led by the outstanding Stephen Milne, who hit five goals.
The Swans were well below their best and worryingly lost key ruckman Shane Mumford to a knee injury at half time. But the mark of a champion team is the ability to grind out wins even on bad days, and Sydney did just that against the dogged Saints.
Swans midfielder Ryan O’Keefe summed it up well post-match, saying “I think for a while we were our own worst enemy and in the first quarter we missed a lot of goals and we made it harder on ourselves than we really needed to, but in saying that, we’ll take the win against a quality side.”
Sydney supporters have become accustomed to strong starts from their side this season, but it was St Kilda who shot to a 25-point lead in the first quarter. The Swans kicked six behinds in a row before Jarrad McVeigh finally got them properly on the board.
The home side turned it around in the second term though, suddenly dominating midfield. Goals from Goodes, Jack and McGlynn saw Sydney surge right back into the game. They led by nine points at the halftime break.
The third quarter was pretty drab, with neither side playing well, but the Swans extended their lead to 16 points.
The Saints then lifted their game significantly to dominate most of the fourth quarter. They were a mere 4 points behind in the final quarter, before Sydney kicked 4 goals in the last 6 minutes to produce a flattering score-line.
The Swans’ main man was the superb Josh Kennedy, who managed a game-high 35 possessions, nine clearances, and a goal from outside 50m. Coach John Longmire was full of praise for his midfielder, who comfortably won his duel with St Kilda legend Lenny Hayes. Kennedy clearly hadn’t forgotten his side’s loss to the Saints back in Round 9, saying it felt sweet to get payback.
“We really respect St Kilda as a team and we really wanted to get after them today because we were a bit disappointed with the result from last time, so I think we owed them one and it was good to get the win.”
About the Author: