The Sydney Swans vanquished their Grand Final ghosts with a commanding display in their season opener against the Gold Coast Suns.
After making a blistering start to the contest the Swans never took their foot off the gas as they ran away to record the 16.14 (1110) to 9.7 (61) victory.
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Superstar Lance Franklin got the night started with the opening two goals of the contest, but it was in the fourth quarter when he was thrust into the spotlight.
With the ball hard up against the boundary line, the ball was in dispute with Suns defender Sam Collins standing over the ball.
Franklin came storming in to apply pressure but clipped Collins on his way through as he braced for contact.
The star forward’s left shoulder landed flush on the chin of Collins who hit the deck and remained down as the doctor came to check him out.
He was then taken from the ground before undergoing a HIA test. Collins was ultimately subbed out of the game, however Fox Footy reported he had passed his HIA.
“He does brace for it, takes his eyes off the footy now it’s only for a milisecond but he is in pursuit of the ball,” Dermott Brereton said on Fox Footy.
Former AFL player Nick Dal Santo argued the motion from Franklin could see him land in serious trouble with the AFL while fellow commentator Kelli Underwood summed it up in three words: “He’s in strife”.
The Suns capitalised in the final quarter after the Swans had effectively put the cue in the rack after holding an eight-goal advantage at three-quarter time.
Franklin joins Melbourne’s Kysaiah Pickett as the second player to face a nervous wait with the AFL match review officer.
A blockbuster class action brought against the league by 60 former players due to concussion suffered throughout their careers could lead the MRO to deliver hard line stances on the hits.
Pickett was instantly placed on report during Melbourne’s contest against the Western Bulldogs after leaving his feet to bump Bailey Smith in a shot that flattened him.
Working in Pickett’s favour is the fact Smith got right back to his feet and continued played, something that could work against Franklin.
Chad Warner led the way for the Swans on the night, carrying on from his stellar 2022 season with 30 disposals and a monstrous 726 metres gained.
In front of goal it was Franklin, Tom Papley, Logan McDonald and Harry Cunningham doing the damage with two goals each to their name.
The Swans are widely tipped to be among the Grand Final contenders again this season and got their season off to the perfect start.
For the Suns it was a dismal outing in front of their home fans in what could well be another long season.
Midfielders Touk Miller and Matt Rowell toiled away with 57 combined disposals as ruckman Jarrod Witts tore the Swans apart with 25 touches and 51 hit-outs.
Unfortunately they just didn’t have the firepower to go with the Swans in what turned out to be a truly one-sided affair.
Story Credit: news.com.au