Swans left to rue misses in shock loss
A HEAVILY undermanned Adelaide has pulled off a stunning 10-point upset over Sydney at the SCG.
Led by skipper Taylor Walker who rebounded from the previous week's lacklustre performance against Collingwood with four goals, the Crows had all the answers as they led from start to finish and saw off a strong finish from the Swans on Friday night.
Josh Jenkins and Rory Atkins both chipped in with three important goals and Rory Laird was again outstanding in defence as he picked up a game-high 30 disposals.
Paul Seedsman produced a stunning 14-possession first quarter to put Sydney on the back foot and finished with 26 for the match, including a goal.
Adelaide coach Don Pyke was without seven players from last year's grand final team as Rory Sloane, Eddie Betts and David Mackay joined Brad and Matt Crouch on the injury list - Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron left in the off-season - and they lost defender Kyle Hartigan in the second quarter to a hamstring injury.
The Swans will rue poor kicking for goal in the last quarter. Isaac Heeney missed two set shots for goal and Lance Franklin one that could also have been given off to Heeney who was alone in the goal square.
"Buddy" was well held by Daniel Talia and managed just one goal for the match.
Gary Rohan was the Swans' only multiple goalkicker, with two, and looked like he was going the ignite the Swans in the third term when he snapped truly from close range.
Teammates came from everywhere to share the celebration, mindful of the tragic passing of his baby daughter last week.
Given the circumstances it was a remarkable effort from the speedy redhead. He was in everything, chasing, tackling and bringing the ball to ground in marking contests.
There was also inspiration from Tom Papley, whose third-quarter marking contest brought back memories of the Saints' Nick Riewoldt more than a decade ago in almost the identical spot.
Swans skipper Josh Kennedy and his midfield lieutenants Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery were unusually quiet, with none appearing in the top-10 possession-getters.
The trio has been the backbone of the Swans' midfield for the past seven years but have been down on form.
Kennedy managed only 13 disposals for the match after picking up just 16 the week before against the Western Bulldogs. Hannebery had 18 and Parker finished with 17.
The win completed a South Australian double at the SCG after Port Adelaide won the Round 2 fixture.