Lance Franklin booted three goals – two of them were classic Buddy – while Josh Kennedy (36 disposals) and Jake Lloyd (34) were busy, but the Crows were simply smarter and better with their ball use.
Like in their round one defeat to the Western Bulldogs, the Swans kicked the first goal of the game – then conceded the next four. Paul Seedsman capped off that scoring run for the Crows after the siren, launching from 60m out with a spectacular torpedo which sailed through the goals at the Paddington end.
It gave Adelaide a 21-point edge at the first change. Longmire watched the first quarter from the bench – a rarity – and wouldn’t have liked what he saw. The Swans were struggling to get their hands on the footy, and when they did, it was slow and indecisive.
Longmire’s players provided a quick and compelling response. A neat mark and conversion from Nick Blakey gave them a goal after just 35 seconds and across the board, the urgency and pressure from the Swans seemed to lift a notch or two. Daniel Talia fell victim to it, coughing up the ball in point-blank position for Sam Reid to add another from a free kick.
Then, some casual Buddy magic. Having had little impact on the game to this point, Franklin found himself with the ball on the left half-forward flank, hard up on the boundary from 50m out with a defender on his case. Anyone else would have panicked, but Franklin let rip with a low, raking left-footed shot which bounced once in the goalsquare before crossing the line.
Franklin kicked one more before half-time, with the Swans having pared the margin back to just four points and boosted all the major metrics – especially contested possessions – in which they were lagging early.
The third quarter was an ugly arm-wrestle. Rory Atkins drew first blood for Adelaide after barely a minute, but the next goal didn’t come for what felt like an eternity, and the hapless Swans couldn’t land a glove on their opponents.
Some questionable umpiring didn’t help, but Ronke and Tom Papley missed gettable shots on goal and eventually, Adelaide struck with back-to-back majors from Tom Lynch and the uncharacteristically quiet Eddie Betts. Suddenly, it was a game-high 23 points at the final break.
The Swans, to their credit, kept coming – and another Franklin pearler, in the exact same spot as the earlier one but from a set shot, gave them another shot of hope. That’s all it proved to be, though, as sealers from Riley Knight and David Mackay finally broke their resolve.
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.