By DAN KELLY
The Sydney Swans have emerged as 38-point victors after a see-sawing affair against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
Th lead changed five times in the first three quarters before the Swans found an extra gear, running the match out strongly to win 17.8 (110) to 10.12 (72).
Sydney came out of the gates hot, getting out to a 23-point lead before Gold Coast debutant Josh Corbett goalled on the siren to bring the SUNS within striking distance leading into the second.
And strike they did, with the SUNS scoring five goals to the Swans’ one in the second to hit the lead.
The Swans were able to halt the SUNS’ momentum in the third quarter, however, hitting the lead and through the class of Ryan Clarke, Darcy Cameron and the ‘X-Factor of James Rowbottom and James Bell.
George Horlin-Smith was prolific in his first NEAFL appearance for the season, collecting 32 possessions as well as a goal. He was ably assisted by Brad Scheer who had 31 disposals and 13 clearances for the game.
For the Swans, it was a team affair with six players finding 20 or more disposals and three players kicking three goals each.
For Sydney Development Coach Lloyd Perris, it was about consistency.
“It’s good to go 2-0,” he told neafl.com.au. “We’ve played good football for the most part, but overall a pretty pleasing start.”
Perris spoke highly of first-year draftee Rowbottom after his 26 disposal, three goal performance – which included a Goal of the Year contender when he got boot to ball on the boundary line between wing and half-forward, and it dribbled through for an 80m+ goal.
But he touched on Rowbottom remaining level headed as a potential AFL debut looms.
“He’s kicking a couple of goals for us and he’s finding a lot of footy, but he knows he’s got parts of his game to work on,” Perris said.
Both sides will be moving on to next weeks match-ups in Sydney. Gold Coast will take on the GIANTS, whilst the Swans will face Redland in an Easter Saturday double header at Blacktown.
NEAFL ROUND 2
Gold Coast SUNS v Sydney Swans at Metricon Stadium
SYDNEY 5.1 6.2 12.3 17.8 (110)
GOLD COAST 2.2 7.8 8.10 10.12 (72)
GOALS – Sydney: J Amartey 3 J Rowbottom 3 S Wicks 3 D Cameron 2 H McLean 2 P Roseby Z Foot K McKellar J Bell. Gold Coast: J Corbett 3 S Day T Nicholls C Nutting G Horlin-Smith B King M Rischitelli J Mohr.
BEST – Sydney: J Bell J Rowbottom J Amartey R Clarke D Cameron C O’Riordan. Gold Coast: G Horlin-Smith J Corbett B Scheer C Ah Chee.
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