Josh Kennedy led Sydney to a 42-point victory over North Melbourne in Sunday’s AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.
Kennedy helped himself to a game-high 37 disposals and added six tackles, nine clearances and a goal in a performance that almost certainly earned three Brownlow votes to help the Swans triumph 18.12 (120) to 11.12 (78).
The skipper led by example in the pressure-laden contest. He did his best work when the game was in the balance, tallying 15 possessions in the opening quarter.
There was no shortage of niggle as the Swans made it two wins on the trot.
Melees broke out at quarter-time, halftime and three-quarter time, while North remonstrated with Lance Franklin after the superstar clocked Sam Durdin high in the third term.
The Swans, last year’s grand finallists, moved up to 15th and still have plenty of work to do if they’re to burst in to the top eight before September, having started the season with six losses.
However, there was plenty for Swans coach John Longmire to like about the way his side slowly but surely took control of a scrappy match.
Franklin registered 1.3 a week after booting eight goals against Brisbane but the Swans had 11 goal kickers.
Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery were all magnificent in the engine room and combined for five goals.
Sam Reid kicked a game-high three goals and held a couple of important marks while serving as the Swans’ spare man in defence.
Nic Newman, who earned a late call-up when Oliver Florent was a last-minute withdrawal, was among Sydney’s best with 35 touches.
The visitors led by 11 points at quarter-time then seized control with six goals in the second term.
A controversial umpiring decision gifted a goal to North forward Ben Brown in the second quarter, ensuring this year’s new ruck rule will be in the news again this week.