Logan McDonald celebrates one of his five goals in the Swans' 81-point thumping of the Hawks at the SCG. (Image: Sydney Swans/Twitter)

The Swans have started the season with two strong wins after thrashing the Hawks by 81 points at the SCG. Hawthorn battled well in the contest over the first half, before tiring legs allowed Sydney to run over them in the second half.

Joel Amartey kicked the opening goal inside the first minute to foreshadow how the day would pan out. In the absence of Lance Franklin, Logan McDonald and Joel Amartey kicked career-high goals as they tore apart Hawthorn’s back six.

Amartey kicked four goals in the first half to get the Swans off to a strong start before being subbed out at three-quarter time for game management. While McDonald finished the day with five goals, kicking three in the second half as the lead blew out.

Speaking to The Inner Sanctum post-game, McDonald didn’t want the credit, and was happy to give it back to the team.

“It was a good win,” he said.

“I was just happy to play my part and get on the end of a few.

“We came into today wanting to bring that pressure and we did that, we think our game stacks up against most teams, it was a good result.”

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McDonald kicked two last week against the Suns and was credited by John Longmire as one of the best afield on the Gold Coast in tough conditions. He’s had an impressive summer after kicking 15 goals in 17 games last season.

McDonald admitted he’s hoping to take his game to the next level this season, and is making the most of the mentors he has by his side.

“I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself,” McDonald said.

“I was trying as hard as I can over the off-season to cement my spot and I think it’s time for me to take that next step.

“Whether that’s me getting up the ground and taking marks or kicking goals.

“Having the likes of Bud [Lance Franklin] and Reidy [Sam Reid] in the squad, I learn off them every day which is something special and I don’t take it for granted.

“It’s been so helpful for me and my development and I’m so grateful for that.”

Franklin missed Sunday’s game against his former side due to a suspension, meanwhile other first-team big men Sam Reid and Tom Hickey remained on the sideline with injury. It allowed the two young key forwards to bear the weight of leading a forward line.

McDonald and Amartey kicked nine goals between them in a well-timed confidence boost, hopefully setting up strong 2023 campaigns where they can consistently challenge the opposition. Though McDonald doesn’t think the missing Coleman medallist was a positive for the group.

“I don’t think it made too much of a difference,” he said.

“He always puts in a good contest for us.

“He helps me in a sense that he takes the best defender every week, I’m looking forward to him being back on the field next week so we can build that chemistry more.”

Coach John Longmire was happy with McDonald’s contribution to the game. The coaches weren’t surprised after seeing the body of work he put in over the summer.

“We know he [McDonald] is a good player,” Longmire told media post-game.

“He works really hard, improves his craft. He got his reward on the scoreboard today which was great to see.”

The Swans were also well served by Callum Mills (28 disposals, two goals) and Errol Gulden (28 disposals, seven score involvements) as their midfield outworked the Hawks across the ground. Sydney lost the clearances (28-35) but was more composed moving the ball across the ground and into the forward half.

The Hawk’s struggled to make the most of their inside 50s, and were forced into turnovers by the Swans’ high pressure. They went 80 minutes without a goal from the start of the second quarter to the end of the last. Conceding nine unanswered goals for the second week in a row, Coach Sam Mitchell wasn’t phased, he thinks the manner in which they were conceded was important.

“I think the challenge today was the fact it wasn’t momentum,” Mitchell said post-game.

“It wasn’t goal-after-goal in quick succession, it was more them wearing us down. We might’ve had a shot or three shots at different stages during that run but just couldn’t find a way to score.

“When you only have two goals halfway through the last [quarter] of course you’re going to concede multiple goals in a row.

“I didn’t think it was a game where they had the hammer down for a small period, they just controlled a lot of the game and we weren’t able to find any ascendency. Because we couldn’t hit the scoreboard or win our one-on-ones behind the ball.”

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