Sydney knew the challenge it faced ahead of a clash with West Coast in Perth on Sunday and a fierce encounter was what the Swans received.
The Swans slammed home seven final-quarter goals to claim a 29-point victory at Optus Stadium but had to fight for the powerful finishing surge.
The Eagles trailed by 26 points at half-time before pegging back the deficit to less than a goal by the final change to make a genuine fist of the contest.
A West Coast-dominant crowd of 53,553 fuelled the third-quarter resistance as Sydney did its best to feed off the silence of support, Kennedy said post-match.
But the skipper said Sydney’s defiance wasn’t limited to the fourth term.
“Every time we felt we were kicking away West Coast seemed to get one or two goals back,” Kennedy said.
“Throughout the course of the game it was a really tough contest, a really big battle in the midfield with the centre bounces.
“We had a few guys go down with cramps in the last quarter and to hang on and fight back and come away with the win was really pleasing.”
The 29-year-old praised the performances of ruckmen Callum Sinclair and Dean Towers, who met a formidable pair in Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett.
Naitanui (33 hit-outs, 12 disposals, one goal) was at his scintillating best in his first game since 2016, but Kennedy pointed to the unyielding tandem act of Sinclair and Towers.
Eight-goal hero Lance Franklin also earned the praise of the Swans captain.
“It would be up there with one of the best games I’ve seen,” Kennedy said.
“In terms of the all-round game, the way he was marking, applying pressure, we kick it down and it just looks like he wasn’t going to lose a contest.”
The 868-goal champion now sits six goals behind Peter McKenna on the all-time goal-kicking leaderboard in ninth position.
He also got a big headstart on injured West Coast forward Josh Kennedy in the race for the Coleman Medal and complemented his eight majors with 21 disposals and four tackles.