SYDNEY has overcome a sluggish start to bank a 30-point AFL win over Collingwood at the SCG, where returning young gun Isaac Heeney kicked three goals.
Both sides struggled to find free space and move the ball freely, with a swirling breeze and lots of pressure ensuring the turnover-riddled game was not much of a spectacle.
Jordan De Goey helped the Magpies shoot out to an 18-point lead early in the first quarter, but the visitors failed to boot a single goal in the second or third terms.
The Swans worked their way into the scrappy contest, seized control in a dominant third quarter and eventually triumphed 10.12 (72) to 5.12 (42).
Lance Franklin was restricted to two goals as Magpies Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore and Chris Mayne combined to ensure the four-time Coleman medallist was rarely a go-to option.
Heeney and small forward Tom Papley combined for five goals in the low-scoring tussle, while Franklin’s understudy Hayden McLean grabbed a game-high five contested marks.
Heeney, who missed the club’s tight loss to Melbourne at the MCG last weekend because of an ankle injury, also had 22 possessions and six marks in a productive comeback.
Sydney ruckman Tom Hickey finished with a game-high eight clearances, while Callum Mills, Justin McInerney and Jake Lloyd were also influential for the hosts.
Heeney’s third goal, coming in the 17th minute of the final quarter, proved the sealer as Sydney made it a 6-3 start to a season in which they were widely tipped to finish outside the top eight again.
In a match with limited fodder for the end-of-round highlight reel, Papley’s second goal stood out as due reward for a spectacular piece of hard work.
The 24-year-old took possession of an in-dispute ball on the half-back flank, danced past a would-be tackler, fended off Steele Sidebottom then had a bounce as he sprinted through the middle of the ground.
The Sherrin passed to Sam Wicks and McLean before returning to a hard-running Papley, who nailed his set shot after holding a mark in the forward line.
The Swans next face Fremantle, Carlton, St Kilda and Hawthorn as they seek to clamber into the top four, while Collingwood’s finals hopes are fading fast as they prepare to host Port Adelaide at the MCG.
(C) AAP 2021
SYDNEY 1.2 4.3 7.7 10.12 (72)
COLLINGWOOD 4.2 4.4 4.6 5.12 (42)
Goals: Sydney: I Heeney 3 L Franklin 2 T Papley 2 C Warner H McLean N Blakey. Collingwood: J de Goey 2 B McCreery D Cameron W Hoskin-Elliott.
Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Robert O’Gorman, Jamie Broadbent.
Official Crowd: 31,448 at SCG.