Carlton savaged over 'embarrassing' scenes as Swans surge to stunning 79-year first in AFL

Sydney have shown they're a real contender in 2024, but there are big concerns for the Blues.

The Sydney Swans have proven themselves to be the real deal in 2024 after a 52-point thrashing of Carlton at the SCG, but the same can't be said of the flagging Blues. The Swans moved two wins clear on top of the AFL ladder after crushing the Blues after a frenetic start on Friday night.

Carlton exploded out of the blocks to lead 27-1 midway through the opening term. But the Swans showcased their premiership credentials by working their way back into the game before taking full control.

The Swans piled on 14 of the next 16 goals to soar to the 17.15 (117) to 9.11 (65) victory in front of 44,047 fans. The third quarter was particularly brutal as Sydney dominated the centre clearances 7-1 on the way to posting seven goals to two.

Carlton and Sydney players after their AFL clash.
Carlton sparked more concerns as the Sydney Swans flexed their premiership muscle. Image: Getty

It means Sydney are now two wins clear of the second-placed Geelong after winning nine of their first 10 games of the season for the first time since 1945. Even if third-placed Essendon beat North Melbourne on Sunday, the Swans will still be one and a half wins clear on top.

Isaac Heeney in action for the Swans against Carlton.
Isaac Heeney was superb again as the Swans thrashed Carlton.


The massive victory over a fellow competition heavyweight has silenced the Swans' critics that they aren't the real deal. “There was a lot of talk through the week that Carlton had the best group of five players in the competition,” Garry Lyon said on Fox Footy.

“Well we might have to revisit that during the week because when you start with these two (Swans players Isaac Heeney and Chad Warner), and then throw Errol Gulden into the mix as well, you can take your pick of the other two. (Heeney) is just at the top of his game right now.

Heeney kicked three goals from 24 disposals in another red-hot display, while Warner had 561m gained to his name by the end of the night. "He was really damaging," Swans coach John Longmire said of Warner. "He's able to break the lines and get out of traffic so quickly, and he goes from inside to outside really fast."

As for Carlton, there are now serious concerns about whether they are contenders or pretenders. Michael Voss' side are now 6-4 on the year and were clearly out of their depth against Sydney.

"I just felt like we lacked any drive through the middle part of the ground," Voss said afterwards. "When you lack that drive and being able to own territory then the guys up front are always going to struggle a little bit. It was pretty clear in terms of the game that it just wasn't us, it just wasn't our identity, we just didn't bring what we've brought to these contests over the course of the last 12 months and we fell well and truly short."

Carlton players, pictured here after their massive loss to the Sydney Swans.
Carlton players look on after their massive loss to the Sydney Swans.

Carlton have conceded an average score of 95.4 points across the last month, with North Melbourne the only club to have given up more across that period. “This is not a profile that’s going to take you into the top four and beyond,” Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy.

Lyon added: “This football club we all expect and hoped for Carlton’s fans’ sakes they could go really deep. We saw it last year with Port Adelaide when they were in a good frame of mind and form, but were defensively always a worry. That’s the watch on them (Carlton) now and it’s a concern.”

Fans were quick to slam Carlton for the disappointing display, particularly on the defensive end. Their performance against Sydney was labelled 'embarrassing' and 'woeful' on social media.

with AAP