The Swans raced out of the blocks in the perfect conditions with two early goals to Dean Towers and Brandon Jack, before the two sides went tit for tat for the remainder of the first term.
The Giants drew first blood in the second quarter through co-captain Callan Ward to narrow the gap to less than a goal, but the fightback was immediately repelled courtesy of a giant nine-pointer to Nick Malceski, a goal to Sam Reid, and then another supergoal to Harry Cunningham in a stunning burst of scoring.
The Giants showed dogged resilience to hit back with two goals of their own before the main break, including Whitfield’s second six-pointer, but their momentum would prove short lived, the Swans constantly holding them at bay.
It was a pattern that would repeat for the remainder of the match, as every time the Giants threatened to draw within a goal of the Swans, last year’s AFL semi-finalists would find another gear – before surging away in the final quarter.
Impressing for the Swans were Sam Reid (three goals), Cunningham (one super goal, two goals) and Luke Parker (27 possessions).
Meanwhile, Ward (two goals, 19 possessions) and Toby Greene (30 possessions) helped lead the way for the Giants.
The Swans were missing a swag of their key players, including star recruit Lance Franklin, Kurt Tippett, Adam Goodes, Mike Pyke and Lewis Roberts-Thomson.
The Swans’ second pre-season cup match is against the West Coast Eagles at Sydney’s Blacktown International Sportspark next Thursday, while the Giants play St Kilda at Wagga Wagga on March 1.