Sydney crashed the party of Matthew Pavlich’s 350-game milestone with a 90-point thrashing of Fremantle in Sunday’s wet and windy AFL clash at Domain Stadium.
Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy tallied 45 disposals and three goals in the 21.11 (137) to 7.5 (47) victory, with the result keeping Sydney in the hunt to finish second.
The Swans take on Port Adelaide, St Kilda, North Melbourne, and Richmond in the final four rounds, giving them an excellent chance to edge out the likes of GWS and Geelong for second spot.
Fremantle remain mired in 16th place with just three wins to show from 18 games.
Defender Zac Dawson is facing several weeks on the sidelines after dishing out a heavy hip-and-shoulder to the face of Sydney’s Jake Lloyd, who lay prone of the ground for more than a minute before recovering to walk to the bench.
Sydney’s win was their biggest ever against Fremantle, eclipsing the 77-point margin they posted in round 13, 2002 at the SCG.
Pavlich was cheered by the 32,401 crowd every time he touched the ball, with the 34-year-old finishing with 15 disposals and two late goals in a hard-working effort.
After the game, David Mundy and Chris Mayne chaired Pavlich off through a guard of honour formed by Fremantle and Sydney players.
But the 34-year-old’s milestone will forever be remembered as a dark day for the club, with the Dockers going from minor premiers to easybeats within the space of a year.
Scoring chances were few and far between for Fremantle in the first half, but Pavlich was in the thick of the action for most of them.
Pavlich sharked the ball off the back of a pack and handballed to Matt Taberner for Fremantle’s only goal of the first quarter.
And Pavlich produced a bizarre highlight early in the second quarter when he balanced the ball on the back of his head while in congestion before feeding it out for a Mundy goal.
Sydney led by 29 points after a wet and windy first half.
That was just the entree.
The third quarter became a feast for the Swans as the rain finally made way for sunshine, with Tom Mitchell booting three of Sydney’s eight goals for the term as the game turned into a romp.