Swans continue their flying start - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans continue their flying start

By Guy Hand 17/04/2010 06:34:35 PM Comments (0)

Sydney are swiftly emerging from under the AFL radar, thumping North Melbourne by 40 points on Saturday for a third consecutive win and an early season spot in the top four.

The Swans overpowered the Kangaroos in the second half to stamp themselves genuine finals contenders - Daniel Bradshaw booting four goals and Adam Goodes the game-breaker in a 14.16 (100) to 8.12 (60) win at Etihad Stadium.

Bradshaw, Goodes and young midfielder Dan Hannebery spearheaded the Swans' third win in four matches this season.

Sydney booted seven unanswered goals from midway through the third term - three of them from ex-Brisbane recruit Bradshaw - to overcome some stubborn first-half resistance from the Kangaroos.

Sydney's only defeat for the season was a narrow eight-point loss to high-flying St Kilda in the season opener.

Swans coach Paul Roos believes his side have started the season as well, if not better, than when they won the flag in 2005.

Roos puts the flying start down to a pre-season begun early after the side missed the 2009 finals.

"This year we've played a lot better footy in the early parts of the year, even going back to our premiership year of '05, but that's as a result of starting (our pre-season) early," Roos said.

"We're fit and healthy and we ran the game out really well. It's a positive start to the year.

"We're still a team that's learning a lot about each other in terms of what our new players bring.

"We're 3-1 but we all know how footy can change."

North led by a point at halftime and looked capable of causing an upset in a match which had been an arm-wrestle for the first two quarters.

Enter Goodes and unheralded youngster Hannebery, who helped the Swans take total control in the midfield.

Goodes broke open packs at will, while Hannebery gathered 11 of his 28 touches in the term, as well as booting a goal.

Skipper Brett Kirk did much of Sydney's grunt work, with 15 tackles, 16 possessions and a goal.

North were best served by skipper Brent Harvey with 25 touches, while Aaron Edwards and Daniel Wells booted two goals each.

Kangaroos coach Brad Scott lamented his side's inability to capitalise on their first-half opportunities.

"You cannot, against a side as experienced and as good as Sydney, take your foot of the pedal because they'll punish you," Scott said.

"We got punished and we need to learn a lesson and learn it very quickly, that if we can't sustain a solid performance, we're going to get beaten."

The only cloud over Sydney's win was a quadriceps injury to forward Ben McGlynn.

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