By MADDY McCASKILL
Sydney Swans kept Canberra goalless in the final term as they came from behind to record a morale-boosting 13-point victory in the nation’s capital.
The match officially opened the redeveloped Phillip Oval in Canberra, which saw the Swans pile on six goals to none in the last to run away 9.14 (68) to 8.7 (55) winners.
Dan Robinson starred with 42 disposals and 15 clearances and Darcy Cameron recorded a massive 72 hit-outs, in a victory coach Tadhg Kennelly described as one of their best this season.
“We lost two (players) in the first quarter but it was still a really good result. They started really well and we were down at half-time which showed really good resilience and resolve by us,” he told neafl.com.au.
“Its hard to quantify the effort that was there and that’s probably the biggest thing we’ll take away from the game.”
The Demons came out firing, kicking four goals to one in the first quarter which put them ahead early on.
Swans were unlucky to capitalise on their opportunities in their forward line, kicking 10 behinds in the second term, rushing every chance they had.
Massive efforts from the Swans midfield and forward line kept their hopes alive in the final half but it was their last quarter performance which pushed them ahead.
Joshua Stern started the six goal turnaround, followed by James Rose who managed to kick three for the day, but it was the clearances from the midfield which changed the pace of the game for them.
Canberra was strong all day but lost momentum, allowing a stronger Sydney to take advantage and come out on top.
While it was a great effort across the field, Kennelly thought the academy players really stood up.
“They were great. It’s not easy for them. We’ve played a lot of the academy players this year but they’ve really come in and played their role and even more,” he said.
“Sam Wicks was superb for us but they were great all over the pack. The AFL-listed players really help them with (Darcy) Cameron and (Robbie) Fox who can take control of the ball and carry it forward.”
With such great games by the AFL-listed players, Kennelly said he wouldn’t be surprised if Fox, Rose, Cameron or Colin O’Riordan get the call up to the AFL.
“With a win like that, you put your name on the board for senior selection next week,” he said.
While a win is huge for the Swans, Kennelly says they will still take it week by week and focus on improving.
“Our entries weren’t great into our forward 50 today at times, our contested footy was up and down so there are areas to review and look at,” he said.
“Its hard to quantify the effort that was there and that’s probably the biggest thing we’ll take away from the game and the win.”
Tom Highmore was superb in defence for Canberra with 23 disposals, nine marks and eight rebound 50s, whilst Mitch Maguire led the disposals with 29.
Both teams have a huge run home with only two games left before finals. Canberra take on Sydney Uni at Blacktown next week, while the Swans face the GIANTS at Spotless Stadium.
Canberra Demons v Sydney Swans at Phillip Oval
SYDNEY 1.0 2.10 3.12 9.14 (68) CANBERRA 4.3 5.3 8.5 8.7 (55)
GOALS – Sydney: J Rose 3 J Bell J Stern B Stewart D Robinson R Stoddart S Wicks. Canberra: A Bruce 3 B Fulford K Klemke M Hardie S Tonkes J Powell.
BEST – Sydney: R Fox D Cameron D Robinson J. Rose K Veerhuis C O’Riordan. Canberra: T Highmore A Baker M Maguire K Klemke A Bruce.