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Swans make it six in a row

Adam Curley  July 15, 2017 10:16 PM

Team song: Sydney Watch the Swans celebrate their round 17 win

Sydney is in striking distance of a remarkable return to the top four after outlasting the Giants by 13 points in a thrilling crosstown derby on Saturday night.

In front of a Spotless Stadium record crowd of 21,924 fans, the Swans led at every change and withstood plenty of challenges from Greater Western Sydney, with star forward Lance Franklin's four goals proving the difference in an extremely close contest.

Skipper Josh Kennedy led his team with 28 hard-working possessions, with fellow experienced midfielders Kieren Jack, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery, and the speedy Zak Jones all prominent.

Small forward Tom Papley kicked three goals for the winners, two of them in the last term, to be a perfect foil for Franklin, with Gary Rohan and Sam Reid well held.

Gun onballers Josh Kelly and Dylan Shiel were two of the Giants' prime movers, along with co-captain Callan Ward and Tom Scully, while power forward Jonathon Patton worked hard to finish with two goals and seven marks from his 18 touches.

The home side suffered a blow pre-game when star forward Jeremy Cameron was ruled out with hamstring tightness, with veteran Tendai Mzungu his replacement.

GWS dominated the opening term in every aspect but despite winning the inside 50 count (18-10) and the clearances (13-6) easily, they failed to capitalise and Sydney booted four goals to two to lead by 12 points at the first change.

To make matters worse, Matt de Boer left the game before quarter-time after copping an accidental elbow from Nic Newman in a tackle, which left him bleeding from the right ear.

Toby Greene was electric with nine touches and two goals to be the home side's only winner inside 50 early on, opposed to fellow 2016 All Australian Dane Rampe, with Zac Williams also returning well with nine possessions of his own.

Phil Davis was on top of Lance Franklin until the superstar Swan got going with two set shot goals from beyond the 50 metre arc, the second of which gave his side a game-high 23-point advantage 24 minutes into the second quarter, but some class on the run from Tom Scully and then Josh Kelly cut the deficit to 11 points at half-time.

The tight contest continued in the third quarter with the sides going goal for goal, booting three goals apiece from 13 inside 50s each, as the Swans kept themselves in front by 13 points at the last change.

A brilliant snap from Steve Johnson just over a minute into the final quarter gave the Giants the momentum they needed, but two of Franklin's goals, his fourth the result of a dubious free kick directly in front of goal, helped the visitors hold on for their ninth win from their past 10 matches. 

Greater Western Sydney: The first-term head knock ruled de Boer out of the game with concussion and he'll need to be tested during the week.

Sydney: Gary Rohan looked to have damaged his right hamstring just before the three quarter-time siren but came back on after the break and played out the match.

The Giants head to Melbourne to take on Richmond at the MCG on Sunday, while the Swans back up again next Saturday night with a home game against the Saints.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 2.4 5.6 8.8 12.11 (83)

SYDNEY 4.4 7.5 10.9 14.12 (96) 

Greater Western Sydney: Greene 2, Patton 2, Kelly 2, Johnson 2, Mumford 2, Scully, Smith
Sydney: Franklin 4, Papley 2, Lloyd, Smith, Kennedy, Robinson, Parker, K.Jack, Hannebery, Jones

Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Ward, Shiel, Mumford, Greene, Whitfield
Sydney: Franklin, Jones, Parker, Kennedy, McVeigh, Hannebery

Greater Western Sydney: Cameron (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Mzungu, de Boer (concussion)
Sydney: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Harris, Pannell

Official crowd: 21,924 at Spotless Stadium