Lance Franklin and Isaac Heeney starred as Sydney dispatched a fighting Greater Western Sydney by 21 points on Saturday.
The Swans prevailed 16.15 (111) to 12.18 (90) in an absorbing AFL battle at the SCG, delivering their cross-town rivals a reality check as to who rules the harbour city.
Young revelation Heeney showed strength, poise and accuracy as he grabbed three goals and combined beautifully with Franklin, who yet again proved his worth with a five-goal performance to maintain Sydney’s unbeaten start to the season.
The Giants were impressive, matching the Swans in vigour if not on the scoreboard as they notched 406 disposals to Sydney’s 381 and led contested possessions 135 to 122.
But it wasn’t enough against a staunch Sydney midfield led by Daniel Hannebery (34 disposals) and Jarrad McVeigh (17 kicks).
The Giants dominated possession early but it was Heeney who drew first blood, the 18-year-old ramming home a classy snap goal in the fifth minute.
The Swans applied their trademark forward pressure, with Franklin unleashing from the centre square to drill a brilliant goal from 60 metres out before Heeney and Hannebery added to the spoils in the first term.
Rhys Palmer gave the Giants a much-needed major just before halftime, the 26-year-old topscoring for his side with three nifty goals in his 99th game.
Luke Parker delivered a contender for the freak goal of the season to give the Swans a 30-point lead just before the main break, dribbling through after somehow throwing the ball back at his own foot when he lost balance and fell face first.
Swans coach John Longmire warned this week of the Giants’ danger in the back end of games, and the visitors duly delivered four goals in the third stanza including a double in quick succession from forward Cameron McCarthy.
They upped the momentum further in the final term with a rapid three goals in a row that included a beauty from Palmer.
But while the Giants fought gallantly, Sydney were irresistible in front of a 31,966-strong crowd and Franklin’s 50-metre set shot from the boundary in the dying minutes steered his side home.