CARLTON 3.1 5.3 6.6 10.11 (71)
SYDNEY SWANS 4.4 8.6 11.8 14.9 (93)
The Swans have continued on their merry way as they march towards a home final, doing what was needed against a solid Carlton at Etihad on Sunday.
Their 22-point victory leaves Carlton with little hope of making the finals after a commanding start to the season but it’s not all doom and gloom at the Blues.
Carlton never said die during the game; just as the Swans looked to kick away, they managed to claw their way back into it. Sydney’s midfield just proved too powerful in the end.
The Blues welcomed back Jarrad Waite, Kade Simpson and Zack Tuohy and they were important additions, especially Waite. The often injured key forward kicked three goals and strengthened Carlton’s structures throughout.
Still, the Swans were impressive enough in veteran Ryan O’Keefe’s 250th game and had some standout performances. 2010 Rising Star Daniel Hannebery continued a fantastic 2012 campaign, racking up 31 disposals and kicking 2 important goals.
He was ably assisted by Jarrad McVeigh (28 disposals, 1 goal), Kieran Jack (26 disposals, 8 tackles, 1 goal) and a cameo through the centre by Nick Malceski.
Up forward, Sydney were missing young key forward Sam Reid through injury, but used Lewis Roberts-Thomson (2 goals) as a useful tall while Ben McGlynn (22 disposals, 3 goals) crumbed and provided good support.
Sydney also easily won the ruck battle, with Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke taking the honours against a solid Matthew Kreuzer.
The Blues fought back in the second half of each quarter – bar the third – to close the gap. After being 21 points down at the half, they managed only one goal in the third and found themselves behind by 32.
However, they powered home towards the end and the margin could have been closer if it were not for some poor kicking.
The resurgance of Brock McLean through the middle continued for Carlton, as he racked up 29 disposals and 8 tackles. Bryce Gibbs started the game on Adam Goodes and was solid. He finished strongly in an impressive performance.
While Waite got free and led well, young Carlton forward Levi Casboult was well held by Ted Richards and restricted to one goal. Underrated defender Nick Smith also forced Eddie Betts to push up the ground. Carlton often bombed the ball forward to a parade of red and white awaiting the ball gleefully.
Sydney will be happy to get the win, although it isn’t all smiles at Bloods-land, with veteran Jude Bolton going down with a knee injury, possibly robbing him of a 300th at the SCG. Carlton didn’t escape unscathed either with key defender Michael Jamison tweaking a sore hamstring.
3) Daniel Hannebery (Sydney)
2) Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney)
1) Ted Richards (Sydney)
Sydney Swans: McGlynn 3, Hannebery 2, Roberts-Thomson 2, Bird, Goodes, Jack, McVeigh, Jetta, Malceski, Mumford
Carlton: Waite 3, Armfield 2, Garlett 2, Casboult, Gibbs, Murphy
Sydney Swans: Hannebery, Jack, Goodes, Malceski, McVeigh, McGlynn, Richards, Smith
Carlton: Gibbs, McLean, Waite, Bell, Murphy, Yarran