AFL KANGAROOS SWANS
Sydney have returned to the AFL winners' list and handed North Melbourne their first defeat of the season, triumphing by 11 points at Marvel Stadium.
The Swans overcame a slow start on Saturday afternoon to seize control of the contest, taking the lead early in the second term and never looking back, holding off a late North fightback to win 10.11 (71) to 8.12 (60).
The result leaves both teams on two wins and one loss apiece.
"North have been going really well and have been competing really hard so we knew what to expect coming into the game and we knew we'd have to be right up in those areas," Sydney coach John Longmire said.
"The third quarter was probably as good pressure football as (we've played) - that was at a really high level for us and everything else is built off the back of it."
North Melbourne suffered a blow before the opening bounce with Ben Cunnington a late withdrawal due to a back issue, replaced by former GWS player Aiden Bonar.
The Kangaroos flew out of the blocks with Ben Brown booting the first two goals before Sydney's run of five-consecutive majors.
North Melbourne were left to rue their wastefulness - kicking just three goals across the second and third quarters to Sydney's eight, with the Swans' slick ball movement on display.
Tom Papley and Isaac Heeney sparked the Swans in the third term, nudging them to a 27-point lead at the final break.
The Kangaroos mounted a final-quarter comeback, booting three goals to zero, but were unable to claw back Sydney's lead.
"It was a disappointing effort from us," Kangaroos coach Rhyce Shaw said.
We felt as though we came in with a good plan but, to Sydney's credit, they played some really good footy and they got on the front foot.
"Their contest work and pressure around the ball was first class and we just didn't match them in that regard."
Sydney midfield stalwart Josh Kennedy and young gun Ollie Florent were excellent with 22 disposals apiece, while Luke Parker and James Rowbottom also impressed.
The Kangaroos missed Cunnington's grunt work in midfield but Jy Simpkin continued his strong start to the season, racking up 26 disposals, eight clearances and a goal, while Todd Goldstein (35 hitouts) was superb in the ruck.
Sydney tall Tom McCartin came from the ground in the final quarter after a heavy landing from a marking contest and did not return, although the Swans could not confirm whether he had suffered a concussion.
The Swans made a late pre-game change, with Hayden McLean replacing Justin McInerney.