Sydney have celebrated the long-awaited return of AFL icon Lance Franklin with a dominant 33-point win over Adelaide at the SCG

Franklin booted three goals, including a booming shot from beyond the 50m arc in the first quarter, as he shook off the rust after a 581-day stint on the sidelines.

The four-time Coleman medallist had his moments – all of which were greeted with rapturous applause by a crowd of 23,946 – but he was just one of numerous threats in a potent forward line.

Logan McDonald, Isaac Heeney and Tom Papley combined for six goals, while ruckman Tom Hickey dobbed two goals as the hosts triumphed 18.13 (121) to 11.22 (88).

“A few cobwebs, that’s for sure,” Franklin told Fox Footy.

“The past 18 months … was disappointing for myself.

“It’s been a stressful time for everyone, with COVID and everything, but it’s amazing to be back … I loved every minute.”

Key forward Taylor Walker finished with six goals for the Crows, who were left to curse their goal-kicking inaccuracy plus an inability to weather the Swans’ pressure and surging forward forays.

McDonald, Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell backed up sparkling round-one debuts with another composed display that belied the fact they were recruited in last year’s national draft.

Campbell, who tallied 25 possessions, will likely join good friend and fellow academy graduate Gulden in banking an early nomination for the Rising Star award.

Jordan Dawson, who returned to the field after a painful blow to the hip, Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Jake Lloyd were also among countless Swans to shine, while Walker, Ben Keays, Rory Laird and Rory Sloane worked tirelessly for Adelaide.

It is Sydney’s first 2-0 start since 2016, when they went on to top the ladder before suffering a grand-final defeat.

It would be premature to suggest John Longmire’s side are capable of achieving something similar in 2021, but fans will feel bullish about ending a two-year finals absence.

A round-three meeting with powerhouse Richmond at the MCG shapes as an ideal measuring stick for Sydney.

The Swans were jumped on Saturday, when the visitors kicked three of the game’s opening four goals thanks largely to Walker.

Franklin helped shift momentum with his first goal, holding a chest mark on the lead after a scything pass from Gulden then nailing the set shot to trigger the loudest roar of the day.

Hickey’s after-the-siren goal built a five-point lead for Sydney at quarter-time, also marking the first time they were in front on the scoreboard.

The Swans busted the contest open with five goals to one in a scintillating second term and never looked back.

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