Sydney Swans vs Carlton Blues how to watch, scores, stats, lineups, news, highlights, live blog
Errol Gulden exploded with 45 disposals and three goals to help the Sydney Swans, Carlton at 43 points, 15.7 (97) to 7.12 (54), in both clubs’ last hit-out before the season proper at 43 comfortably defeat points.
Gulden played in a new midfield role to set the young star up for a big breakout season, while also amassing 17 contested possessions, nine clearances and 847 yards gained.
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Sydney dominated for most of the night in a positive reaction to last year’s grand final being abandoned, while the Blues have plenty to ponder as they try to recover from last season’s late fadeout.
Luke Parker (27 disposals, one goal) was also busy in the Swans’ engine room, while Sam Docherty amassed 34 disposals for the Blues.
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QUARTER-BY-QUARTER MATCH REPORT
A long-range bomb from Errol Gulden from 50m away brought the Swans onto the board in the first few minutes.
Fox Footy pundits were impressed with the work rate of blues selector Oliver Hollands, who was busy on the wing in the opening stages as he pressured his case to debut in Round 1.
Sam Reid turned his body to score two straight goals for Swans to start the competition and maximize their breeze.
The Blues stabilized from that point, and recruit Blake Acres got them in the board with a goal overhead, bringing it back to a six-point game.
But Sydney would respond with the next two goals to open an 18-point lead and gain the upper hand in the competition.
“It’s a goal fest,” said Fox Footy commentator Dwayne Russell.
It included Harry Cunningham booting two majors in the opening period.
Peter Ladhams, who made a strong start to the game in the No. 1 ruck reel, was forced off the ground after a punch to the cheek but later returned.
“Ladhams was impressive, he worked really hard on the spot. He’s had a lot of competitions,” Brisbane Champion Alastair Lynch told Fox Footy.
Goals for the Swans kept coming, including a dribble finish by Buddy Franklin, described by Russell as “a trademark Lance”.
Sydney led by 36 points at the first change, 7.2 (44) to 1.2 (8).
Gulden continued his dominant start to the game with another long-range goal early in the second quarter to complement his 15 dismounts and open a 42-point lead for the Swans.
“Paddy Dow is trying to run with him, but he’s won this duel so far,” Hawks legend Dermott Brereton said of Gulden.
The Blues finally got one back after Charlie Curnow tagged from point-blank range, played on and kicked properly – their second major for the game.
Carlton scored two more goals from Matt Kennedy and another from Curnow to bring his deficit to just 24 points.
Rain pelted down in Sydney as the Blues continued to press in a much closer game.
Nick Blakey made up a 50-yard penalty to score a timed goal for the Swans and score three straight Blues goals.
Gulden finished the half with 26 dismounts, two goals, six clearances, five within the 50s and 584 yards gained in a dominant performance from the breakout star, with Lynch calling him a “class act.”
The Swans led at halftime by 26 points, 9.3 (57) to 4.7 (31).
Jesse Motlop kicked the third-quarter opener, but Braeden Campbell responded at the other end with a monster kick from outside the 50.
Zach Fisher came right back with the next goal as Carlton fought his way back into the contest, 20 points down.
“They were certainly better in the last 30 minutes of play,” Lynch said of the Blues.
On an otherwise dominant night, Gulden missed a set shot with his third major for the night, but Isaac Heeney made up a one-on-one deep in 50 to extend the Swans’ lead to 28 points.
Despite an improved effort from Carlton, Sydney went into the three-quarters 35 points ahead, 12.6 (78) to 6.7 (43).
After misses from Curnow and Logan McDonald at either end of the court, Franklin landed at the bottom of an inside 50 and spun around for his second goal of the night.
“He’s looking as slim as he’s been in years, he’s handsome,” Lynch said.
Luke Parker kicked the next to give Sydney a 44-point lead.
Gulden capped his mammoth 45 feat with his third goal in a mighty display from the young star.
THE 3-2-1 …
GULDEN “NEXT STEP TO SUPERSTAR” IN INSANE PERFORMANCE
If the AFL had a Most Improver Player of the Year award, Errol Gulden would likely be the top contender at the moment.
Gulden’s 45-appearance, three-goal performance as a pure on-baller was something else, adding 17 contested possessions, nine clearances and 847 yards gained.
Save it for the real stuff, Errol!
Hawks’ great Dermott Brereton said it as well as anyone could have: “Gulden was always a very good player. We guarantee you that he will take the next step towards becoming a superstar.”
It included a great first half in which Gulden accumulated 26 touches, two goals and six clearances with 584 yards gained.
Whilst Callum Mulls was absent, it’s a clear sign that John Longmire plans to use Gulden more on the ball in 2023, having featured as a half-forward for the first two seasons of his career.
They don’t call it a third-year breakout for nothing, eh?
Brisbane Lions legend Alastair Lynch was also impressed by Peter Ladhams and Luke McDonald but Gulden was the clear standout against the Blues.
“I loved how their youngsters presented…we touched on Errol Gulden and the development of the youngsters in that Swans era,” Lynch told Fox Footy at halftime.
“He was class. He played in the high half-forward and a little bit in midfield last year, he went a little bit more inside.
“He has pace, he has great vision and composure and hits targets and finishes work.
“His personal best clearances in his 43-game career is only five, it’s just another indication he’s going inside a little bit more. But it confirms that he is capable of playing in this position.
“You have to keep him inside and get his permits, but you don’t want to let him hurt you on the outside for doing that.
“The future of the club is very bright, but it will be even brighter on the back of these young people.”
2. CAN CURNOW SCORE 100 GOALS?
Charlie Curnow is very, very good… could he score 100 goals this season?
Former Hawthorn sniper Ben Dixon thinks it’s “not out of the ordinary”. Curnow has scored 100 goals this season as the star was in great form against the Swans at 2.2 and played without forward line partner Harry McKay.
It comes after Curnow enjoyed a big boost last season with 64 goals to earn Coleman Medal honors after almost all of his last two seasons were wiped out by injury.
And Dixon doesn’t think Curnow will gain strength until 2023.
“I want to ask the question – could he kick 100?” Dixon posed on Fox Footy.
“You think about it, one shot per quarter and everyone reports he’s had an incredible preseason. We know what he did last year with a full year and the Coleman Medal.
“It’s not outside the ranges in my book.”
Lions champion Alastair Lynch suggested the extra referee this season could help forwards take more free-kicks – giving them more chances to score.
“With the fourth umpire and zone umpires right now, especially early on, they’re going to be red hot on the hold. So there will be a few free-kicks,” he said.
“Definitely he could (kick 100). He has the talent and goals will increase from key strikers this year.”
1. BLUES ROD R1 CLAIMS AS MAJOR CALLS FOR STARS CHANGE ROLE
While it wasn’t a great night for the Blues, promising performances from the likes of Oliver Hollands, Lachlan Cowan and Alex Cincotta raised their hands for a Round 1 spot.
And should Cowan or Cincotta get a senior chance, could that result in a move to push Sam Docherty into midfield?
Carlton is likely to go into the season short-staffed in the middle, while Sam Walsh will miss the early rounds as he recovers from back surgery.
And according to Hawthorn’s great Dermott Brereton, Michael Voss needs Docherty to spend more time on the ball to make up for Walsh’s absence.
Docherty collected plenty of footy behind the ball against the Swans with 34 touches and 11 points. but Brereton thinks he’ll be better served further up while Walsh is sidelined.
“Dochery may also need to push up in midfield and bring some extra relief. Tonight he’s even playing in the back half and pushing in the middle,” Brereton told Fox Footy.
“He’s a little quarterbacking and he’s sitting back there on the packs. He sort of sits with the quarterback, so often they give it to him and he can set it up.
“But you’re going to need him to run safely through the middle if Walsh doesn’t make it out there.”
B: D. Rampe, T. McCartin, O. Florent
HB: J Lloyd, P McCartin, J McInerney
C: H Cunningham, C Warner, D Stephens
HF: W Hayward, S Reid, L McDonald
F: I Heeney, L Franklin, E Gulden
FOL: P Ladhams, J Rowbottom, L Parker
I/C: N. Blakey, B. Campbell, M. Roberts, H. McLean, A. Sheldrick, L. Rankin, W. Edwards, L. McAndrew
EMG: Mitchell C, Hall-Kahan H, Warner C, Francis A
B: S. Docherty, J. Weitering, L. Plowman
HB: A. Saad, Le. Young, A. Cincotta
C: B. Acres, E. Curnow, A. Cerra
HF: Z Fisher, C Curnow, O Hollands
F: J. Motlop, T. De Koning, J. Silvagni
FOL: M Pittonet, M Kennedy, G Hewett
I/C: L. Cowan, L. O’Brien, P. Dow, M. Owies, J. Carroll, J. Binns, J. Honey, S. Durdin
EMG: B. Kemp, A. Mirkov, H. Lemmey, D. Akuei
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