The Sydney Swans have continued their positive start to the 2021 AFL season with a commanding 33 point win over the Adelaide Crows at the SCG. The new Sydney line-up and game strategy impressed the 23,000 plus fans in attendance with a classic blend of youth and experience. Box office draw card Lance Franklin was back for Sydney with 3 goals, with young guns in Logan McDonald, Chad Warner and Errol Gulden showing plenty of promise.
For Adelaide, it was a frustrating afternoon. The Crows were out of the blocks quickly in the first term, however they wasted many gettable opportunities in front of goals and paid the price dearly as Sydney took firm control in the second term and never really looked threatened for the remainder of the game. Crow powerhouse forward Taylor “Tex” Walker provided Adelaide fans with some consolation with a near, best on ground 6 goal effort.
Apart from the return of Lance Franklin, the big story line for the Sydney Swans was the very promising form of the new recruits. Forward and midfielder Errol Gulden was brilliant. Recruited locally from the Maroubra Saints and Sydney Swans academy, Gulden picked up 22 disposals including 1 goal. Logan McDonald added to his impressive debut AFL season with 2 goals, and taking 7 marks. McDonald provided another target up forward and took a lot of the workload off Lance Franklin. In the Sydney defense the move of Tom McCartin continues to pay off. Despite Walker booting 6 goals on him, McCartin did repel several Crows offensive plays and has slotted in nicely into the centre half back position. He was ably assisted by another new recruit in Braeden Campbell who picked up 25 possessions. Chad Warner was another young Swans player who impressed with 2 goals and 20 disposals.
On the Crows side of the ledger, their new recruits showed promising signs for the future. Adelaide has struggled to gain any form since their 2017 grand final appearance. With Matthew Nicks at the helm, he’s brought in new faces of Sam Berry, James Rowe and Shane McAdam. Berry could have made a massive difference to the result missing 3 consecutive shots at goal during the second quarter. McAdam was outstanding up front booting 4 goals, whilst James Rowe was quiet, he’s shown signs he will be a dangerous crumbing type forward with the ability to snag goals.
The “Old Mob” from Sydney in Jake Lloyd, Luke Parker, Dane Rampe and Josh Kennedy played their usual serviceable games. Their efforts provided an excellent base for their younger players to build on. A case in point was that Parker, Lloyd and Kennedy’s disposals combined for a total 76 touches.
Both coaches were philosophical after the game. A obviously revitalized Sydney coach in John Longmire was delighted with his team’s effort despite Adelaide having 33 scoring shots “We’ll take the win everyday of the week but also there’s also a little bit of work to be done, which is a real positive I think”. Adelaide Crows coach Matthew Nicks lamented missed opportunities “We were inconsistent unfortunately. We had some good patches some not-so-good patches. The second quarter in the end was the difference.They put us away in that second quarter”. Sydney (3rd 2 wins 0 losses) head to Melbourne to face the reigning premiers in Richmond (2nd 2 wins 0 losses) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Easter Saturday afternoon. Adelaide (12th 1 win 1 loss) return home to face the in-form Gold Coast Suns (6th 1 win 1 loss) on Good Friday evening.
SYDNEY 4.1 9.6 15.11 18.13 (121)
ADELAIDE 3.2 4.6 6.14 11.22 (88)
Sydney: Franklin 3, Heeney 3, Hickey 2, McDonald 2, Warner 2, Papley, Gulden, Reid, Wicks, Parker, McInerney
Adelaide: Walker 6, McAdam 4, Keays
Sydney: Parker,Kennedy, Lloyd, Campbell
Adelaide: Walker, McAdam, Lynch, Sloane
Sydney: Matthew Ling – no game time
Adelaide: Chayce Jones – no game time
Umpires: Leigh Haussen, John Howorth, Mathew Nicholls
Crowd: 23,946 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Moore Park, Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales Australia