Final Up to date on 17 Sep 2022 11:23 pm (UK Time)
Sydney superior to the Grand Closing after getting up, by only a single level, over a plucky Collingwood, in an exhilarating and tense finale, earlier than a sold-out SCG.
A end that introduced again recollections of the final time the venue hosted a Prelim, again in 1996, when the good Tony Lockett kicked a behind, after the siren, to win it.
It will likely be the membership’s fourth look at a Granny beneath the management of coach John Longmire (pictured under) who has accomplished an incredible job throughout his 12 years in cost.
The Swans received off to a flyer, scoring the opening 4 objectives of the competition, and had been dominant within the first half which gave them an honest lead on the principal interval.
Nonetheless, regardless of that, you simply knew that the Magpies, who set a brand new AFL/VFL document this season for shut wins (9 by only a single determine margin) and actually been the group to observe, would mount a comeback at some stage and so it proved.
They had been compelled to take dangers however received some actual momentum behind them, within the latter phases, and scored three consecutive majors to get with three factors.
It arrange a nail-biting and must-watch viewing on the finish through which the hosts got here beneath siege and needed to defend for his or her lives, dashing by way of two behinds within the final two minutes, earlier than getting over the road by the very smallest of margins.
Talking on floor to Channel Seven, Lance Franklin (pictured above), within the final of his nine-year contract, stated “Wow. What a end! We knew they had been going to come back and so they did. We had been fortunate to hold on however you simply need to win and you’re right into a grand closing. It’s been an unbelievable season.”
He added “That’s what we play footy for. We’ve to play Geelong subsequent week who’re an unbelievable group. We should be at our greatest to win subsequent week.”
Group mate Isaac Heeney (pictured above) stated “I’m a bit confused nonetheless. My coronary heart continues to be going. That was unbelievable. They’ve been that facet who retains coming again, they’ve accomplished that each one yr. We nearly blew it however we held on. The Swans followers, it’s an incredible membership and tradition. Deliver on subsequent week, I can’t wait.”
It was an enormous night time for defender Paddy McCartin; the defender’s profession appeared over on the finish of 2019 following his launch from St.Kilda attributable to a collection of concussions.
The Swannies gave him an opportunity to resurrect it by way of their VFL facet in 2021 earlier than making the choice to signal him on as a rookie firstly of this marketing campaign.
Speaking to Fox Footy, the 26-year-old (pictured above) stated “I can’t consider it! From the place I used to be, to the place I’m now – it’s loopy mate. I can’t consider it. To begin the yr on the rookie checklist, should you had of advised me I might be enjoying in a grand closing I wouldn’t have believed you. I really feel fairly fortunate. Hopefully we are able to actually get pleasure from it.”
He went on “It’s been an actual rollercoaster. Two years in the past I used to be nowhere actually and struggling loads. When you’d of advised me, even this time final yr, I wouldn’t have believed you. This can be a very particular footy membership to present me this chance and a chance to play with my brother (Tom); I really feel very fortunate. I like him to bits so to share this week with him will likely be wonderful.”
Geelong booked their place within the showpiece occasion with a dominant efficiency as they hammered Brisbane, by 71 factors, in entrance of a crowd of 77,677 on the MCG.
Fielding the oldest group in AFL/VFL historical past with a mean age of 28 years, 173 days (together with 10 gamers aged greater than 30), they placed on an absolute masterclass.
The bookies favourites and minor premiers are by way of to their sixth Grand Closing within the final 15 years and, on this proof, it might be arduous to again in opposition to them.
It was a end result that made it 15 consecutive victories whereas preserving the Lions to their second lowest rating in finals historical past and worst rating within the post-season since 2000.
There had been some commentary concerning the pre-finals bye, which meant it was solely their second sport in 25 days, however it definitely didn’t present as they received the momentum behind them within the second quarter and it was successfully over by the tip of the third.
Captain Joel Selwood (pictured above) equalled Michael Tuck’s document, in enjoying his 39th finals sport, which he’ll break subsequent Saturday on the largest stage of all of them.
Tom Hawkins (pictured under) booted 4 majors to take his profession tally to 729, surpassing each Wayne Carey and Peter Hudson, to maneuver as much as 19th on the all-time AFL goalkickers.
Talking, within the rooms, to Cats Media on the achievement he stated “It’s a stunning stat however the truth of the matter is that every yr, as a part of the Geelong footy membership, I get to play finals. That is my 16th season and there’s a lot of arduous work to get right into a closing collection and in the end to get to the place we are actually. I’ve simply been so lucky to be a part of such a profitable group for therefore lengthy.”
On reaching the large one, he replied “It’s a reasonably particular feeling. Definitely a beautiful solution to get there. We performed some sensible footy tonight, each offensively and defensively and our system labored very nicely. So very happy.”
Patrick Dangerfield (pictured under) (28 disposals, 22 kicks, 16 contested possessions, 9 marks, eight clearances and two objectives) was in devastating kind and standout greatest on floor.
Speaking to Channel Seven, post-match, the 8x All-Australian stated “We really feel like we’ve got been constructing and it’s not only one participant, it has been such a power of ours all yr, if one is down, the following stands up and that has been our mantra.”
He continued “It’s a credit score to our teaching employees, they’ve been so balanced and never simply with the wins, even when we’ve got not performed our greatest.”
Solely dampener on the night was the hamstring damage to Max Holmes, who kicked the winner within the Qualifying Closing two weeks in the past, as he was subbed off within the third quarter; while it didn’t look so good on the time, the membership aren’t ruling him out.
Geelong 18.12 (120)
Brisbane 7.7 (49)
Sydney 14.11 (95)
Collingwood 14.10 (94)
AFL finals: Week four fixture – Grand Closing
Saturday 24 September – Geelong v Sydney @ MCG (2.30pm)