Swans soar past struggling Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans soar past struggling Eagles

By James Dampney 24/04/2010 06:50:26 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos admits even he is surprised by how well his new-look team is performing after the Swans solidified their place in the AFL's top four with a 52-point thrashing of West Coast on Saturday.

The Swans led for the whole game against their old rival and prevailed 17.13 (115) to 9.9 (63), with Daniel Bradshaw kicking six goals and the likes of Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack and Ryan O'Keefe starring for the home side.

Sydney's fourth straight win takes them to 4-1 for the season and they also boast an extremely healthy percentage to comfortably sit inside the top four with some challenging matches ahead.

The Swans take on Brisbane, Geelong and the Western Bulldogs in the next three weeks.

The only sour note was an achilles tendon injury to defender Craig Bolton that could keep him out of next week's clash with the Lions, but it is the lone downside for a Swans side that has surprised all so far in 2010.

"It was another really good team effort with everyone playing their roles," Roos said.

"The Eagles came out really hard and then we really started to get on top in the third quarter and overran them in the fourth quarter.

"The guys that have come from other clubs and the younger guys are really embracing the roles they're playing.

"It's a little bit surprising how well they're playing as a team given how many changes we've had."

Sydney led by seven points at quarter-time and stretched their advantage to 22 by the main break, although their lead should have been far greater if not for some wayward kicking.

Ten goals to five after halftime then established the significant final margin.

Josh Kennedy kicked three goals for the visitors and Adam Selwood and Matt Priddis had their moments, but it was a poor performance by a struggling Eagles outfit that started the season with high hopes but now sits on 1-4 for the year.

"We got outgunned absolutely thoughout the whole game really," coach John Worsfold said.

"We hung in there but just released them for too many easy goals in the fourth quarter.

"They were winning the footy, using it a lot better going forward.

"Some of the game the players can say they worked at, but too much of it they were far too short of what Sydney brought."

Roos is now relishing the challenge that lies ahead in the coming weeks, starting with Brisbane at the SCG.

"We're in good form, we've played some good footy up until now but it's good to come up against the best teams in the competition," he said.

"It's a really big test for us to see where we're at, see where the young guys are at and it's an opportune time to play them to give us a really good feel about how we're going."

Meanwhile, Worsfold has turned the heat up on his underperforming senior players.

They were totally outplayed by an enthusiastic Swans side, with senior players such as Andrew Embley, Darren Glass, Beau Waters and Brett Jones failing to set an example for the side's younger brigade.

"They've got to work harder. They need to lead the way," Worsfold said.

"Some of our senior players were well below what we expect of them today and that makes it very tough for the other players if they're not pulling their weight."

"There are times you tear your hair out and wonder why players are making the decisions they do.

"We'll keep working on that. In some cases it's experience for younger players, for senior players we've got to ask them why they're making decision-making errors.

"Brett Jones is a senior player and turned the ball over too many times today with poor decisions and we rate him as a good kick and he couldn't hit targets."

Next up for West Coast is a clash with hated rivals Fremantle, a match that might come at exactly the right time for the Eagles to find the hunger and effort that's been lacking so far this year.

Worsfold admits their current form is way off the pace if they hope to beat the Dockers and begin to get their season back on track, predicting changes to his stuttering side.

"Right now you would say no, our form is nowhere near good enough to beat Fremantle and that's going to be a challenge for us," he said.

"We've got to keep persevering with players in some cases and in other cases keep trying to find the right mix of players to bring in.

"If some players can't lift their standard they'll be out of the side."

During the game, Swan Kieren Jack found himself on a collision course with much larger Eagle Matthew Spangher fighting for possession.

Despite being second best for most of the day, a Josh Kennedy goal midway through the third quarter brought the Eagles to within 15 points.

Tadhg Kennelly then launched the ball forward for the Swans, with the 178cm, 81kg Jack in hot pursuit.

Coming in the other direction was the 193cm, 93kg Spangher and forceful contact was unavoidable.

But it was the diminutive Jack, son of rugby league great Garry Jack, who came out on top, getting the ball to Jesse White to kick a goal while Spangher sprawled on the SCG turf.

Mobbed by his teammates, Jack's moment sparked the Swans, who kicked three straight goals and ten goals to five the rest of the game to triumph 17.13 (115) to 9.9 (63).

"It was a turning point definitely," Roos said.

"They were still within striking distance and then he crashes in, the ball spills out and you kick a goal.

"It was a pivotal moment."

Jack has grown in confidence to the point he is now a key figure for the Swans.

Roos uses him in a variety of roles and Jack knew he had to put his body on the line against Spangher on Saturday.

"Tadhg sort of kicked it over there and he put me in one of those awkward situations where you know there's an opponent coming and the ball's there to be won," he said.

"So I put my head down and went after the footy. I got it, we kicked a goal and, I'm not sure who it was, but he stayed down for a while.

"It's what we're looking for from the senior blokes, just put your head over it and do your bit each week.

"When you get the captain of the club come up to you and give you a real rap it pumps you up."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news