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The Swans are back on the winners list in the most emphatic way, sending the Bombers crashing back to Earth at the SCG.

After consecutive losses, the Swans responded in style as they carved up their opponents in the middle and made it count on the scoreboard, winning 14.21 (105) to 6.11 (47).

Essendon started well enough kicking the opening goal, but it was all Sydney from halfway through the first quarter.

At the centre of it all has been ‘Buddy’ Franklin, with the AFL legend playing distributor and then, later, goal-scorer.

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Sam Wicks scored a couple for the Swans in their round nine victory over the Bombers at the SCG. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Two second term goals saw the Swans kick clear of the Bombers, as they went through the middle and carved their opponents up.

“They were awesome, absolutely awesome, and this is something they were really well known for last year,” Nick Riewoldt said on Fox Footy.

“They were the best ball movement team in the competition.

“It’s something that’s eluded them so far this year but not in that first term. Their ability to take it from one end of the ground to the other, they were brilliant.

“Their adjustment to what they used to look like with the footy Sydney to what they are now when they’re at their absolute best – it’s such a stark contrast, and Essendon were powerless to stop it in the first half.” 

Former All-Australian Luke Darcy labelled Franklin’s performance a “masterclass”, while Wayne Carey tore the Bombers’ defence to shreds.

“That piece of play just goes to show you just how dysfunctional this Essendon team is,” Carey said in commentary for Fox Footy.

“I mean every single player that that footy went to could have played on quickly and moved the ball on inside the forward 50. That is just far too easy.”

Two goals in the opening term to Sam Wicks has the Swans flying against Essendon at the SCG.

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Sam Wicks kicked an early goal for the Swans against Essendon in the first quarter at the SCG. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Straight, direct and hunting the goals, the Swans took a 20-point lead into quarter-time.

While Swans veteran Josh Kennedy became the second VFL/AFL player to have 4000 contested possessions.

Franklin did the business in the second term while Luke Parker lifted the fans from their seats with a fluid goal from 50.

Goals either side of half-time from Peter Wright kept the Bombers in the hunt, with his first a long range effort from outside 50.

But it was more of the same in the second half as the Swans bounced back to keep their top four hopes alive.

Franklin, Wicks, Tom Papley and Will Hayward finished with two goals apiece.

Carey wasn’t the only AFL great to hit out at the Bombers, with former Swan Ryan O’Keefe slamming the side.

“There’s serious, serious issues at Essendon; that’s a soulless club … there’s no contest, there’s no fight, I don’t know what their purpose is … that’s as poor a team as I’ve seen all year,” O’Keefe said in commentary for the ABC.

Making the performance all the more worse was it was Dyson Heppell’s 200th match, while Bombers great Kevin Sheedy was in the stands too.

Dyson Heppell is chaired from the field by teammates after playing his 200th match. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images


Swans young gun James Rowbottom could find himself in a bit of trouble with the judiciary.

The 21-year-old went flying into contact high and was nowhere near the ball.

After a brief scare Zach Merrett got up and continued playing, but it begs the question should the judiciary take whether someone gets injured into account?

“One incident that we need to look at is the Rowbottom incident Zach Merritt contest,” former Pies great Nathan Buckley said on the couch for Fox Footy.

“In the end, there’s got to be something to answer for here.

“I don’t reckon Rowbottom lined him up, but in the end he wasn’t at the footy and that’s head high contact.

“Merritt got up to continue to play the game but ultimately with the rules the way they stand there’s a bit to look at there.”

Riewoldt said the fact Merritt got up could work in his favour: “It depends if we go for the potential to cause injury this week because sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t, but the fact that he’s still out there Merritt I think it means Rowbottom will get a fine. Otherwise he would have been in serious strife.”


Very early the signs weren’t great for the Bombers.

The only thing keeping in the game was the early inaccuracy of the Swans. That changed quickly.

While the Swans have been known for their ball movement over the past year, it was all too easy for the home side at the SCG and Carey slammed the Bombers’ defensive structures and pressure midway through the third term.

“The great Paul Roos used to say that there should be a stat for fumbles. He always believed that the team that fumbled most generally would lose the game,” Carey said.

“Well Sydney were able to have 20 fumbles in this passage of play and still able to kick the goal. That’s how poor Essendon’s defence has been and that’s how poor their pressure has been. Sydney fumbled through to kick that goal.”


When the game was their for the taking in the first half the game’s biggest player stood tall.

But it wasn’t just in the attacking 50.

Franklin was unselfish and looked for a target and regularly found on in the first half. Then he decided to do it himself.

It was very much a Franklin “masterclass”.

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