Sydney’s walking wounded have lifted to provide absent star Adam Goodes with a perfect lift in the shape of a 52-point home win over Adelaide.
Coming off successive thrashings by Hawthorn and West Coast – and without Goodes, who is on indefinite leave after persistent vilification by opposing fans – Sydney powered their way to a 17.15 (117) to 9.11 (65) victory at the SCG on Saturday night.
The win – witnessed by 38,690 spectators, Sydney’s highest home crowd of the season – moves the Swans above Richmond back into fourth spot.
Goodes wasn’t sighted at the ground, but no doubt would have been watching somewhere and seen stirring shows of support from his teammates and Sydney’s fans.
Many banners with messages of support were evident at the ground with Swans supporters rising for a standing ovation at the seven-minute mark of the third quarter to honour his No.37 guernsey.
The Swans dominated from early on after Lewis Jetta kicked a goal on the run from over 50 metres and celebrated with an indigenous dance.
They produced their highest scoring first quarter and half of the season to lead by 24 and 43 points at the first two breaks and never allowed Adelaide within six goals through the second half.
Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett, who was playing against his former club for the first time, each kicked three first-half goals.
Tippett, who was coming back from a broken hand, got some boos from Crows supporters, while Franklin’s mobility looked compromised in the second half.
“Franklin probably shouldn’t have played but he said from very early in the week he’ll be right,” Longmire said.
“Benny McGlynn was probably touch and go whether he played, but he was super as well.
“Tippett was probably going to have two to three weeks off, but came up and played, so there was some blokes made some big calls early in the week and come match day they performed.
Sydney’s win was set up by much-improved performances from their key midfielders, who racked up plenty of possessions and goals after lacklustre form in their two previous games.
Dan Hannebery (40 possessions, three goals), Luke Parker (30 and two) and Josh Kennedy (32 and two) were among six Sydney players to tally 30 or more touches.
“Our senior players and particularly our captains Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack were sensational,” Longmire said.
“Our midfield group in particular was just super tonight.”
“They ran really hard both ways for the whole game and Kennedy and Hannebery and those guys were fantastic.”
Tom Lynch kicked three goals for Adelaide with Josh Jenkins and Taylor Walker adding two each.
“Our midfield got their colours lowered today, particularly in that first half,” said Crows interim coach Scott Camporeale.