Sydney and cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney are nipping at Hawthorn’s heels in the race for the premiership flag after an impressive weekend for AFL football in NSW.
The Swans followed the Giants’ 88-point thumping of Richmond on Saturday with a 90-point demolition of Fremantle at Domain Stadium on Sunday.
The results left GWS and Sydney second and third, respectively – two games behind ladder leaders Hawthorn with four games left in the home-and-away season.
Swans coach John Longmire was pleased with the killer instinct shown by his team.
“You want to make sure you finish off a pretty strong job … you don’t want to relax,” he said.
“You want to keep going and put the foot down. We’re like any other team in that aspect – we want to play until the final siren and that’s what our boys were able to do.
“You come in and worry about the things you can focus on, the processes, but in the end it was good to be able to put in a strong performance and keep the foot down. It’s always good to be able to do that.”
It wasn’t pretty but the Hawks maintained their healthy buffer at the top of the ladder with a scrappy win over Carlton in Launceston to extend their winning streak at their Tasmanian fortress to 19 games.
Geelong are fourth after 19 rounds, and have celebrated Jimmy Bartel’s 300-game milestone and Corey Enright becoming the club’s all-time games record holder (326) with a hard-fought win over the Western Bulldogs, who remain seventh on the ladder.
Eddie Betts kicked five goals as Adelaide moved up to fifth with an 82-point belting of Essendon, while West Coast slipped to sixth on the back of their upset loss to Collingwood.
North Melbourne round out the eight after they celebrated Brent Harvey becoming the AFL’s all-time games record holder with a scrappy win over St Kilda.
The Saints remain a mathematical chance to make the eight, as do Port Adelaide after they thumped Brisbane to move into ninth spot.
The Bulldogs’ injury woes continued with Tom Liberatore (ankle) and Jack Macrae (hamstring) unable to finish the game at Simonds Stadium.
The Kangaroos have their own concerns, with important forward Jarrad Waite aggravating the hip injury that’s hampered him of late, while Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs left the game at Adelaide Oval with an ankle injury.
In tribunal news, Fremantle’s Zac Dawson looks set for a stint on the sidelines after his clumsy high hit on Sydney’s Jake Lloyd during the Dockers’ big loss to the Swans in Matthew Pavlich’s 350th-game milestone.