Buddy, Swans make bold AFL statement

As far as statements go, they don’t come much bigger or bolder than the one made by Sydney and superstar forward Lance Franklin with their stunning second-half onslaught against St Kilda on Saturday night.

The Swans led by five points at halftime at Etihad Stadium but then showed the rest of the competition the sort of irresistible, high-intensity footy they’re capable of, outscoring the Saints 15 goals to four on their way to a 70-point demolition.

“It was just a really powerful second half … just a fantastic second half,” Swans coach John Longmire said.

“We probably got our hardness right, which was good, and our pressure on the opposition was good and then we were able to use the ball going forward (as well).

“We were able to get a combination of the hardness and the effort but also a bit of the finish and the composure.

“That mix in the second half really stood out to us.”

And with just two games left until finals, Franklin hit peak form with a brilliant 28-disposal, six-goal display as the Swans emphatically consolidated their hold on second spot.

Buddy grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after a hotly-contested first half with 15 possessions and three goals in an inspired third-term effort.

“He had a pretty reasonable third quarter … he was getting involved up the ground – that was the thing that we noticed,” Longmire said.

“That’s what makes him a good player – he can play right up the ground and then be so useful going into the forward 50.

“It was a pretty handy quarter.”

But while Franklin was an obvious standout, Sydney had winners all over the ground.

Dan Hannebery, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker dominated the stoppages after halftime with Callum Mills and Aliir Aliir eye-catching in defence.

And if the Swans weren’t looking formidable enough heading into September, Longmire confirmed they will most likely welcome back Kurt Tippett from a long-term hamstring injury against North Melbourne next week.

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