A THIRTEEN-GOAL blitz has emphasised in no uncertain terms that Sydney is the team to beat, with the Swans' 52-point win leaving Carlton and a packed SCG stunned.

The Swans gave up a four-goal headstart but it was all one-way traffic from there as the ladder leaders first chased down then surged past the Blues for a 17.15 (117) to 9.11 (65) victory on Friday night.

After trailing by as much as 26 points halfway through the opening term, the Swans piled on 13 of the next 14 goals to blow the Blues away and move to 9-1 for their best start to a season since 1945.

The Swans are now two wins clear on top of the ladder while the banged-up Blues are on the brink of tumbling out of the top eight.


Midfielder Chad Warner was devastating for the Swans as he gathered 28 disposals and booted three goals, while Isaac Heeney (24, three) continued his rich vein of form with another eye-catching display.

The explosive Swans duo was joined by James Rowbottom who helped limit the Blues’ strength around the stoppages with 19 disposals and 15 tackles.

Errol Gulden overcome an unusually quiet start to finish with 28 disposals and 721m gained and stand out as a centrepiece of the Swans’ slick ball movement.

While Sydney’s star midfielders ran riot, James Jordon was once again handed a critical run-with role and went straight to Carlton prime mover Sam Walsh from the first bounce.  

Walsh got off the leash as the Blues made a scintillating start but the Swans’ midfielder was able to limit his influence from there.

Both Walsh and Jordon finished with a goal, while the Blues’ gun midfielder only edged ahead 20-16 in disposals in a critical one-on-one battle for the Swans.

Nic Newman battled hard against his former side, adding run and carry from defence among 32 disposals, and Blues skipper Patrick Cripps (24) battled hard in the midfield.


The injury-hit Blues might also have paid a hefty price with key defender Jacob Weitering copping a blow to the thigh in the opening term and later subbed out of the game.

The Blues showed plenty of promise early with four early goals as their twin towers Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay threatened to tear the game apart against an undersized Swans defence.

But the Swans tidied up their ball movement to turn the contest around and serve the Blues for a 17th defeat from their past 19 matches at the SCG.

The Swans are the big ticket in town
White-hot Sydney entered the clash with Carlton on top of the ladder, while also being No.1 for points for and against, and hoping to secure its best start to a season since 1945. Little wonder the SCG was packed to the rafters. The match highlighted the value of a reserved seat as the Red Zone reached capacity and members had to be accommodated in other parts of the stadium, even before the Swans had woken up. The final attendance of 44,047 was the equal-third highest home and away crowd at the venue, and the equal-fifth highest overall, as the Swans showed just why they have become the big ticket in town.

Big Blue blows hot and cold in brisk start
Harry McKay was a key to the Blues’ fast start even while reminding his side how erratic he can be in the opening term. The tall forward outmuscled Aaron Francis outside 50m to set up a shot on goal that appeared to be beyond his range. That was until Dane Rampe and Hayden McLean spoiled each other instead of touching the ball, as the 60m set shot sailed through at head height. But just three minutes later, McKay showed that the good can come with the bad, when a set shot from the top of the goalsquare and directly in front hooked through for a behind.

Will Hayward puts his name up in lights
Will Hayward’s signature has become hot property with Sydney keen to retain their in-form half-forward and other clubs, reportedly including Carlton, trying to lure him away. Hayward had done his chances of a big pay day no harm with eight goals in the past two matches, and grasped his first opportunity to impress any potential suitors on Friday night. The 25-year-old booted the Swans’ much-needed first goal with a sharp snap, and was a livewire throughout as he finished with 15 disposals to again put his name up in lights.

SYDNEY           3.6       7.8       14.12    17.15 (117)
CARLTON         5.3       5.6       7.9        9.11 (65)

Sydney: Heeney 3, Warner 3, Amartey 2, Papley 2, McLean 2, Hayward, Jordon, Wicks, Cunningham, Rowbottom
Carlton: Curnow 2, McGovern, McKay, Owies, Walsh, Kennedy, Williams, Hewett

Sydney: Warner, Heeney, Rowbottom, Gulden, Jordon, Grundy, Papley
Carlton: Newman, Cripps, Acres, Kennedy, Curnow

Sydney: Fox (shoulder)
Carlton: Weitering (thigh)

Sydney: Braeden Campbell (replaced Robbie Fox in the third quarter)
Carlton: Jack Carroll (replaced Jacob Weitering in the third quarter)

Crowd: 44,047 at the SCG