The Courier-Mail

Swans fly­ing as play­offs loom

- SAM ED­MUND

THIS sea­son, Syd­ney have had to cope with the Adam Goodes saga, a sea­son-end­ing in­jury to Luke Parker, a thrash­ing from Hawthorn and crit­i­cism of Kurt Tip­pett and Sam Reid.

Yet the feel-good fac­tor is re­turn­ing to the Swans.

Last night’s 97-point de­mo­li­tion of St Kilda was their third win in a row and with a strug­gling Gold Coast wait­ing in the last reg­u­lar sea­son round, fourth spot and a qual­i­fy­ing fi­nal meet­ing with Fre­man­tle is Syd­ney’s to lose.

Af­ter the open­ing 20 min­utes this was a bru­tal smash­ing of a de­vel­op­ing Saints side, but it was the list of con­trib­u­tors that bodes well for the sea­son­defin­ing bat­tles to come.

Tip­pett (pic­tured), un­der fire from crit­ics this year, con­tin­ued his re­nais­sance as a ruck-for­ward and he seems like a dif­fer­ent player.

Shar­ing cen­tre-bounce du­ties with Mike Pyke, Tip­pett has a new lease of life drift­ing for­ward and wreak­ing havoc in­side 50m.

Tom Mitchell had to fight his way into this side and has been the sub on oc­ca­sion.

But yesterday’s 35 touches makes it 76 in a fort­night and he seemed in great touch.

De­fender Ted Richards, who cel­e­brated his 250th game, said: “We haven’t had the most con­sis­tent year, but we’ve been play­ing well over the last month.

“It’s a good time of the year to be do­ing that so hope­fully it can con­tinue.”

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