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Swans grab AFL minor premiership in style

AAP logoAAP 27/08/2016 By Adrian Warren

Now the AFL minor premiership marathon has been won, Sydney coach John Longmire is looking to maintain his side's sizzling form through the finals after a crushing 113-point victory over Richmond at the SCG.

The Swans clinched top spot in breathtaking fashion, with Lance Franklin kicking seven goals, Ben McGlynn a career-equal-best five and Gary Rohan four in Saturday's 25.14 (164) to 7.9 (51) victory.

It was Sydney's sixth straight win and their fourth by 67 points or more in that period, though fading North Melbourne were their only top-eight opponent in that time.

Richmond's 14th loss of the season leaves them in 13th place, which is their lowest placing since they finished 15th in coach Damien Hardwick's first year in charge in 2010.

At one stage, Sydney piled on 70 successive points and they led by as much as 136 in the final quarter before the Tigers kicked four of the last five goals in a belated show of defiance.

The contest was a stark contrast with their first meeting this season, when Richmond won by one point following a goal after the siren.

Richmond didn't kick their first goal until the second quarter and trailed by 31, 81 and 123 at the breaks.

The Swans' fast ball movement and unrelenting pressure proved far too much for a Richmond side lacking the talent, intensity and experience to compete for a full game.

Josh Kennedy spearheaded a dominant Sydney midfield, youngster Isaac Heeney looked sharp and a miserly defensive unit kept the clamps on the Tigers' forwards.

"I thought our players, the way we went about it, was fantastic and really didn't give them a look in," Longmire said after Sydney's biggest score and winning margin in three years.

Longmire spent little time savouring just the third minor premiership in his club's history.

"It's important to play well for the year. It's a marathon to get to this point," Longmire said.

"But the reality is that season has now finished and a new season is about to begin and hopefully we've got some confidence in the football we like to play and that's what we take into this new season."

Longmire praised Franklin for his outstanding pressure rather than his goal haul, and said the star forward had played well the whole year.

Hardwick said the season had been a kick in the backside, and he was more disappointed than relieved their underwhelming campaign had finished.

"We played a side tonight that was playing for something. They are an incredible side," Hardwick said.

"But we were probably looking more for season 2017 more so than the result tonight.

"When you've got a young side you've got to take your chances early and we didn't."

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