Lance Franklin and his in-form Sydney Swans delivered a sobering reality check to Greater Western Sydney with a 46-point AFL win over the Giants.
On a cold and windy Saturday night at the SCG, Franklin warmed the Swans spectators with a five-goal performance in a 15.16 (106) to 8.12 (60) victory, their 10th straight, that consolidated third spot on the ladder.
It is Sydney’s longest streak in 79 years, .
Coming off their first set of back-to-back victories, the Giants never threatened to repeat their first round upset of the Swans.
They lifted in the second half after a lacklustre effort in the first in which they mustered just one goal.
They trailed by margins of 18 and 44 at the first two breaks.
After failing to apply pressure in the first half, the Giants lifted after the long break, losing the third quarter by just five points, but winning the last by three.
Franklin boosted his goal tally for the year to 40, with 26 of those coming in the last six games.
He nailed his first two shots of the night before his run of straight goals ended at 12.
The highlight was a second quarter effort that showcased all his skill.
He left defenders floundering with his strength and speed and sent a booming kick through the big sticks from around 50 metres.
GWS were down a man from halfway through the first half after experienced defender Heath Shaw was taken from the ground.
Shaw took a knee to the head from Tippett as he ran back trying to deny the Swans forward a mark.
After a break of several minutes while Shaw was being treated, Tippett converted the short range set shot.
Franklin kicked two first quarter goals, one from 45 metres out and the other from a set shot following a juggling one-handed mark.
Co-captain Kieren Jack, who notched a game high 32 possessions, marked his 27th birthday with another goal while Tomas Bugg finally notched the Giants’ first major.
Sydney kicked 4.5 to 0.3 in the second quarter.
Bugg and Jeremy Cameron each kicked two goals for GWS, but the latter and fellow forward Jonathon Patton, who finished goalless, were well held by Ted Richards and Heath Grundy.
“I thought for the majority of the game we played a pretty good standard of footy,” Sydney coach John Longmire said.
“We dropped off a few times during the course of the game.
“We need to make sure we’re a bit more consistent with that during the course of each quarter.”
He was impressed by Franklin’s mobility and his defensive work, in addition to his offensive output.
“He’s just moving really well around the ground,” Longmire said.
“Some of his tackles tonight were upstanding.”
Giants coach Leon Cameron said Shaw had gone to hospital, but was just concussed and hadn’t suffered any other damage.
“We didn’t take our chances in the first 15 minutes of the game when it was neck and neck and missed a couple,” Cameron said.
“Then they pounced on a couple of our mistakes, but after the 15-minute mark of the first quarter they probably had the best of us for 45 minutes.
“The positives were that we hung in for the second half.”