Kennelly solid as Swans rout Blues

THE glamour clash with Setanta Ó hAilpín may not have materialised but Tadhg Kennelly still made the most of his trip to Melbourne as Sydney solidified their play-off position with a comfortable victory over Carlton.

The Swans were dominant, riding a superb first-half display all the way to a 107-68 victory at the Etihad Stadium. Kennelly was rock solid at the back and heavily involved throughout, amassing 21 possessions.

The victory helped the Swans open up a four-point gap over Carlton and coach Paul Roos called it his side’s “best performance of the season”.

For the hosts however there were only tough questions to take away from their fourth defeat in five contests.

The Blues were insipid for much of the tie, coach Brett Ratten’s surprising decision to omit Ó hAilpín looking somewhat ill-conceived. The Corkman may have been struggling in front of goal in recent weeks but his imposing physical presence has been a boon for some of Carlton’s small forwards.

Ó hAilpín’s replacement Jarrad Waite struggled to get a grip on the contest and their attack floundered.

Pearce Hanley continues to make the most of his run in the Brisbane Lions side, although much like last week, outside of a solid individual display, there was little for the defender to savour.

The Lions were many pundits’ pre-season fancies for honours but their nightmare campaign continued in Tasmania on Saturday as they were hammered by Hawthorn. The Hawks were rampant in Launceston, inflicting an 11th defeat in 12 outings on the Lions (118-43).

Australian International Rules coach Mick Malthouse had a weekend to savour as his Collingwood side soared to the top of the table, overpowering an out-of-sorts St Kilda in front of 82,000 at the MCG on Saturday. It was the first time the sides had met since a controversial clash in April when Malthouse and Saints forward Stephen Milne clashed.

Having been a spectator on Saturday, Tommy Walsh found himself in the unfamiliar surrounds of full back for the Saints’ second string yesterday. The former Kerry forward had led the line for Sandringham in recent weeks but was drafted into the defence and turned in an impressive display despite losing to Box Hill Hawks.


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