Swans thump Melbourne by 101 points in AFL
Melbourne coach Mark Neeld says he needs more time before assessing the full extent of the AFL club’s eighth straight defeat – a 101-point massacre by Sydney at the SCG.
The Demons were woeful in the 21.12 (138) to 5.7 (37) loss on Saturday, failing to register a goal until the 20th minute of the second quarter. At that point, the hosts had kicked 10 and the game was as good as over.
Neeld’s charges almost never looked comfortable moving the ball out of their defensive 50m arc – which is where the Sherrin spent the vast majority of time, with the Swans having 71 inside-50s to Melbourne’s 35.
They were buffeted off the ball at stoppages, their disposals failed to hit a man with alarming regularity and Sydney tackled with much more intensity.
It wouldn’t have been pleasant viewing for Neeld, but the 40-year-old put on a stony face after the game – choosing his words carefully at a post-match media conference attended by plenty of club officials.
“Disappointing. Pretty hard to defend a loss of that size,” Neeld said.
“The majority of the damage was done early in the first half. It wasn’t complete, or total, capitulation in the second half. They’re probably the first things that come to mind.
“We’ll draw the learnings from it a lot easier once we’ve sat and reviewed and had a look at the game and watched (what was) behind the goals.”
If Neeld planned on wielding the axe, he didn’t let on about it.
“We’ll continue with the same idea of looking for continual improvement, every game we play,” Neeld replied when asked what his response would be.
“It didn’t come today – it didn’t come for a half last week. But that’s what we’ll keep doing.”
But he denied being in shock about the nature of the drubbing.
“I’ve got some answers. I’m just saying it’s easier to give the answers that you guys want – the depth of answers – when we sit down and analyse the tape.
“But a 101-point loss is a 101-point loss.”
To make matters worse, the return of Liam Jurrah went sour in the final term when he was carried off with a leg injury.
Nathan Jones also looked to be in some discomfort in the fourth quarter.
“They’re sore. I haven’t spoken to the medical staff yet, so (it would) only be speculation at the moment,” Neeld said.
As lifeless as the visitors were, the pressure Sydney put them under in front of a crowd of 20,818 was also telling in the procession.
The Swans rebounded from their self-proclaimed ‘embarrassing’ loss to Richmond in the best possible fashion – recording their biggest winning margin since 2006.
“The mids were good. They set the tone pretty early in the game,” coach John Longmire said after his side boosted their percentage by almost 16 points.
“I was really pleased we had 82 tackles to 51. That was probably the most pleasing part of the game.”
Midfielders Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker all kicked three goals, as their side moved the ball in the sort of direct fashion more regularly seen in a training drill.
Melbourne’s Jeremy Howe took a spectacular mark-of-the-year contender, while No.1 pick Jack Watts had 34 disposals – but most of those were tallied as the loose man in defence.© AAP 2013