Swans ground high-flying Suns with 53-point monstering

Joanna Guelas |

Tom Papley played a key role in Sydney’s big win over Gold Coast.
Tom Papley played a key role in Sydney’s big win over Gold Coast.

High-octane Tom Papley has helped inspire Sydney to a 53-point AFL monstering of Gold Coast.

Separated by 11 points at the main break, the Swans kicked eight consecutive goals across the second half to claim a 17.8 (110) to 8.9 (57) win at the SCG.

It was quite the reversal for the Suns, who had thrashed Hawthorn by the same margin last week.

Papley was the star of the Sunday showing, slotting three goals from 13 touches and getting the 35,649-strong crowd rocking when he claimed his third of the day, a classy curling effort from the boundary line after pulling in an outstanding diving mark.

“We just gave them the ball back, that was the reality,” Suns coach Damien Hardwick said.

“We tried to hit kicks that weren’t in our repertoire, and we just gave them easy goals.”

Sydney had no shortage of firepower as they charged past the 100-point mark, with Joel Amartey (four goals), Sam Wicks (two) and Will Hayward (two) among their nine goal-kickers.

Errol Gulden again starred in the engine room with 30 touches and was well supported by Isaac Heeney (28) and Justin McInerney (26).

Sam Flanders, in his 50th game, laboured hard in the Suns backline to lead the game with 34 touches while midfield bull Matt Rowell (15 contested possessions, 12 tackles) played like a man possessed.

Amartey, Papley and Heeney punished the Suns for their poor defence to boot the three opening goals.

Action from Swans v Suns at SCG.
The Swans rose above the Suns at the SCG on Sunday. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

But the Swans fell asleep in the second term, with Bailey Humphrey slotting his second goal of the season before Jed Walters added another.

Walters earned the ire of the Swans faithful after being paid a mark near the boundary line in the back pocket, with the hosts arguing the ball had gone out on the full.

Inaccuracy denied Gold Coast more reward for their effort, with Nick Holman hitting the post before Jack Lukosius committed an egregious shank kick.

“They had momentum. They had their tails up but they weren’t able to put the six on us,” Swans coach John Longmire said.

“Our defenders did a good job and were able to withstand that, and that does make a difference.

“Pressure and defence. Very simple.”

The Suns all but kissed goodbye to their hopes of a victory away from home when Sydney kicked five unanswered goals in the third term.

Longmire’s side continued to pile on until the final siren, with star recruit Brodie Grundy kicking his first major for the Swans in his 200th AFL game.

AAP