Sunday, 19 August 2012
Adam Goodes hit form as a multi-faceted Sydney attack tuned up for some looming blockbusters with their biggest AFL score in more than six years against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.
Even a three-goal deficit at the first change and a stunning 47-disposal game from Bulldogs star Ryan Griffen couldn't stop the top-placed Swans winning 26.11 (167) to 13.7 (85) at Etihad Stadium.
Goodes bounced back from a quiet performance against Collingwood last round, combining a season-high 22 disposals with 11 marks and three goals.
Ruck duo Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke, who sustained a minor ankle injury late in the game, chimed in for three majors each, as did Lewis Roberts-Thomson, while key target Sam Reid notched two in his return from a knee injury, among 14 Swans goal-scorers.
Coach John Longmire said there were signs that dual Brownlow Medallist Goodes was hitting his peak.
"He ended up kicking three but also importantly contributed a lot to other players' scores as well, which is what he's able to do when he's at his best," Longmire said.
Longmire said Reid's return and the spread of scorers helped.
"It allows probably Goodesy to play a bit more of a smaller (player's) role," he said.
"Even though he's (192cm) and 100kg he then becomes more of a roaming type forward ... that was the bonus of getting Reidy back today, just to get that structure right."
Midfielder Josh Kennedy continued his superb season with 33 disposals, eight clearances and a goal.
Longmire said the bullocking on-baller's form this year had fluctuated between incredible and very good, with Sunday's game in the former category.
But the Swans will face vastly superior opposition to the Bulldogs for the rest of this year.
They meet second-placed Hawthorn at the SCG on Saturday, when a win will virtually seal the minor premiership, before meeting reigning premiers Geelong at Simonds Stadium in the last home and away round.
Veteran Jude Bolton might return from a knee injury against the Hawks, but more likely against the Cats.
Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney said his young team, whose losing streak stretched to nine games, battled harder than the scoreboard gave them credit for.
"The scoreboard was disappointing. The effort wasn't and the spirit wasn't," McCartney said.
"But we paid a heavy price whenever we didn't complete the basics of the game well."
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