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Grundy gets revenge as Swans kick off the season with a win

Sydney Swans Defeat Melbourne Demons

In a pivotal matchup between two of the AFL’s best ruckmen, it was Brodie Grundy who took the chocolates over his ex-teammate Max Gawn as the Sydney Swans defeated the Melbourne Demons by 22 points in the opening match of the AFL season.

In hot and humid conditions in Sydney, Grundy made a statement in his first game in red and white with 23 disposals, 33 hit-outs, and nine clearances. As fatigue affected their opposition, Grundy was especially important in the second half, as the Swans kicked away to a comfortable victory.

With injuries to Callum Mills, Luke Parker, and Taylor Adams, there were plenty of doubts surrounding the Swans and their contested game. However, it was Isaac Heeney who stood tallest in a career-best contested game with 26 disposals, 13 clearances, and a goal.

Explosive pair Chad Warner (26 disposals, one goal) and Tom Papley (20 disposals, one goal) added vital midfield support, while Nick Blakey (26 disposals) was at his dynamic best, breaking off the half-back line.

After a horror off-season, Demons midfielder Clayton Oliver returned in solid form with 30 disposals, while Christian Petracca (26 disposals) was dangerous but wasteful, kicking 1.2.

However, it was a massive night for hard-nosed midfielder Jack Viney, who had 30 disposals, seven clearances, and two goals.

Bayley Fritsch was a standout with four goals, but the rest of the Melbourne Demons forward line struggled as their only other goal came from Jacob Van Rooyen accidentally heading the ball onto his shin.

The Demons will also be sweating on the fitness of defender Jake Bowey, after he injured his shoulder in a contest with Justin McInerney in the third quarter.

After the match, Sydney Swans coach John Longmire was full of praise for Grundy.

“His second half was huge,” Longmire said.

“He just kept going, just kept ploughing through. His second and third efforts, his work around the footy was enormous.

“I just feel really pleased for him. He’s got that one out of the way, and now he can settle into his season now, and he’s got another big one next week against the Pies.”

Facing Collingwood next Friday night, the Swans come in as underdogs at $2.70 to win with the leading bookmakers.

Whilst the Demons host the Bulldogs in their first home match of the season, coming in as $1.71 favourites.

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