A stunning second-half onslaught by Lance Franklin and Sydney have propelled the Swans to a brilliant 70-point AFL win over St Kilda.
Buddy grabbed Saturday night’s 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 that helped set up the 23.8 (146) to 11.10 (76) win in front of 33,059 fans at Etihad Stadium.
The Saints led by five points at the first change and the Swans edged five points ahead at the main break after a pulsating opening half in which the lead changed hands nine times.
But St Kilda were largely powerless to stop Sydney after the resumption as the visitors reinforced their claims on a top-two finish with a jaw-dropping display of high-intensity football.
The wheels came off for the Saints as they fell 41 points behind at three-quarter time, with their slim finals hopes all but snuffed out with the percentage-sapping loss.
Franklin finished with an equal career-high 28 disposals and kept himself in the hunt for the Coleman Medal, his six goals leaving him just three majors behind the leader, West Coast’s Josh Kennedy.
Franklin starred but the Swans 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.
The Saints were brave in the first half after they lost Jarryn Geary to a back strain in the warm-up and then had to contend with the second-half departures of Sam Fisher (jaw) and Tom Hickey (concussion).
David Armitage, Seb Ross and Leigh Montagna worked hard for St Kilda in the inaugural Pride Game to celebrate diversity and tackle homophobia in sport.