Swans claim maiden home win in 2006 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans claim maiden home win in 2006

29/04/2006 11:30:06 PM Comments (0)

Sydney has recaptured some of its AFL premiership lustre and rediscovered the art of winning at home as it beat Geelong by 22 points at Telstra Stadium.

Trailing by six points at quarter time, the Swans made a decisive surge with three goals late in the second quarter on its way to 15.17 (107) to 13.7 (85) victory.

It was the Swans' first win in Sydney since defeating the same opponent in a memorable semi-final last September at the SCG, where the defending premier had lost its first two home games of the current campaign.

Co-captain Barry Hall led the way with four goals, shading his great Cat rival Matthew Scarlett, while back Adam Schneider supplemented his defensive effort by also notching four majors.

While the teams exchanged the lead several times in the first quarter, Sydney broke the game open after a 33-33 deadlock with goals late in the second quarter to Adam Goodes, Schneider and Craig Bolton.

The hunger and desperation which characterised the Swans' surge to the AFL summit last season and had been missing in earlier rounds returned for a good portion of the fixture.

While Sydney finished with its highest score of the season, at one stage wasteful kicking looked as if it might allow Geelong to sneak back into the game in the final quarter.

The Swans led by 32 points late in the third quarter, but Geelong clawed its way back to within two goals early in the final term.

The profligate Swans kicked 4.8 to 1.0 in the second quarter and 4.5 to 4.1 in the third.

While Sydney led by 20 points at halftime and 24 at the final change, majors to Cameron Mooney and Paul Chapman slashed the advantage to just 12 points six minutes into the final term.

However, Sydney halted the Geelong rally by kicking the next three goals through Hall, Schneider and Goodes.

Michael O'Loughlin and Craig Bolton each finished with two goals for the Swans who improved their season record to 2-3.

The Cats also found themselves on that mark after slumping to their third straight loss.

Mooney and Chapman, who was playing his 100th senior game, each finished with three goals for Geelong, with Garry Ablett and Charlie Gardiner tallying two majors apiece for the Victorian side.

The controversial surface of the ground, which attracted enormous pre-match scrutiny after more than 1000 square metres of turf was re-laid during the week, appeared to hold up well.

Sydney coach Paul Roos said he would have been "going through the roof" if his team's inaccurate kicking had cost the game but was generally pleased.

"I thought that was the best we'd played for 2006, there's no doubt about it given the quality of the opposition and the pressure that they were under as well coming into the game," Roos said.

He was happy with the efforts of co-captains Hall, Brett Kirk and Leo Barry and felt his ruck division of former Cats big man Paul Chambers and Darren Jolly was outstanding.

He said he felt Chambers had copped a lot of unfair criticism and revealed Jolly was a little bit underdone because of a lingering knee problem which prevented from training for more than 20 minutes a week.

Roos revealed there had a lot of meetings and discussion this week with his players and felt consistency had been restored to the Swans' game.

"They certainly played a lot better tonight, it's really been the consistency that we probably have been lacking and tonight we really got it for most of the evening."

Both Roos and Hall praised the much maligned surface and said it was not an issue tonight.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson said his team was totally outplayed and described the Swans as "very impressive".

"We were just not on our game tonight and it was disappointing, we have some real work to do as a group," Thompson said.

"The Swans were very impressive, they put a lot of pressure on us. We won the hitouts, they won the clearances by a lot.

"When we won the ball we were slow and hesitant. We went wide, we went safe, we went slowly, you don't win games doing those things."

Sydney reported no injuries, but Geelong debutant Brent Prismall suffered a broken forearm.

Thompson said forward Kent Kingsley would definitely return next week, with Peter Riccardi and Henry Playfair possibly available and felt the return of some senior players would help the Cats climb up the ladder.

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