The Sydney Swans have gone down by 28 points in a disappointing performance against the Western Bulldogs at the SCG on Thursday night.
The Dogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli erupted early, taking two brilliant marks and kicking two goals in the second term to set up the 10.7 (67) to 5.9 (39) win.
However, the win came at a cost for the Bulldogs with injuries to Aaron Naughton (ankle) and Sam Lloyd (shoulder) leaving the visitors down to two rotations on the bench in the second half.
Key forward Bailey Dale was also reported for a late hit on Swan Robbie Fox.
Bontempelli (18 disposals, two goals) twice went back with the flight in the second term to result in two goals as the Dogs jumped to a 30-point half-time lead.
Tom Papley (four goals) sparked somewhat of a fightback for the Swans to get within 20 points early in the final term before the Dogs steadied to win 10.7 (67) to 5.9 (39) at the SCG.
Macrae (22 disposals) shook off a George Hewett tag, while Smith (20 disposals) combined with ruckman Tim English (22 disposals) as the Dogs were far cleaner around stoppages.
The Swans lifted their work-rate and showed more dare after half-time, but it was far too late against a Dogs line-up reduced to two rotations in the third quarter.
Both sides wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence pre-game to honour Australian Football Hall of Fame Legend John Kennedy snr, the grandfather of Swans co-captain Josh Kennedy, who played his 250th AFL match.
Bont puts on the cape
Marcus Bontempelli single-handedly lifted his football club in the second quarter. The Dogs skipper took a courageous mark running back with the flight and into the path of Swans star Isaac Heeney at half-back midway through the term. The passage set up the Dogs' fifth goal before Bontempelli repeated his efforts deep in attack to snare another major just moments later. His six-disposal quarter was capped with a goal from beyond the arc to give the Dogs full momentum into the main break. After the Swans opted to send tagger George Hewett to Jack Macrae in the first half, Swans defender Callum Mills was then sent to Bontempelli.
Concerns for Dogs forwards
Spearhead Aaron Naughton will head for scans after limping from the ground with a nasty ankle injury late in the first term. After nursing a knee complaint through pre-season, the 20-year-old appeared in pain and took no further part in the match. Fellow forward Sam Lloyd injured his right shoulder early in the third quarter and sat out the rest of the second half. To make matters worse,Bailey Dale was put on report for a wayward spoil on Robbie Fox deep in defence. However, his forearm only made contact with the Swan's shoulder and should escape Match Review scrutiny.
Did the Swans get it right at selection?
After Callum Sinclair and Hayden McLean collected the win over North Melbourne's Todd Goldstein last week, the Swans opted to keep both big men with No.1 ruckman Sam Naismith returning. Naismith was beaten by Dog Tim English, while the Swans were extra tall in attack with Sinclair (199cm) and McLean (197cm) forced to watch Tom Papley play a lone hand. The three Swans talls failed to kick a goal, while the Dogs kicked four goals generated from their defensive end in the first half alone to set up the win.
SYDNEY 0.1 1.3 2.8 5.9 (39)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.2 6.3 7.4 10.7 (67)
Sydney: Papley 4, Kennedy
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli 2, Dale, Naughton, Lloyd, Vandermeer, Bruce, West, Macrae, English
Sydney: Papley, Parker, Heeney, Kennedy, Lloyd
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Smith, Macrae, English, Daniel, Crozier
Western Bulldogs: Naughton (ankle), Lloyd (shoulder)