K rock Football

Buddy key to Swans’ comeback win

LANCE Franklin has helped lift the Swans to a stunning come-from-behind 26-point AFL win over GWS in a fixture where eight players were unavailable due to coronavirus protocols.

Sydney trailed by 35 early in the second quarter but came to life leading into halftime in the derby at Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium on Sunday night.

After a quiet first half, Franklin finished with four goals, which included his 400th for the Swans, in the 15.8 (98) to 11.6 (72) victory.

He played a leading hand in the turnaround and capitalised as the Sydney midfield began to find their groove.

The Swans put together a run of nine goals, including six unanswered in the third term, to ultimately quash the Giants’ hopes of jumping into the top eight.

Callum Mills, Harry Cunningham and Colin O’Riordan (Swans) and Toby Greene and Matt de Boer (Giants) were forced to pull out less than an hour before the first bounce after the Victorian Government upgraded their COVID-19 exposure sites.

Unselected Giants Kieren Briggs and Jake Stein and Sydney ruckman Callum Sinclair are also isolating.

The group were among 15 players and staff from both clubs who attended the Wallabies’ match in Melbourne on Tuesday and were in an area of AAMI Park that was reclassified as Tier 2 exposure.

They are all in quarantine under Queensland health department requirements until further notice.

The Giants woes were further compounded with injuries to Josh Kelly (ankle) and ruckman Matt Flynn, who left the field on two occasions after appearing to dislocate his shoulder twice.

Sydney has now notched three wins in a row and are sixth on the ladder, while the Giants sit in 12th position and are two points outside the top eight.

Tom Papley also finished with four majors for the Swans, while teammate Luke Parker was atop the match possession count with 31.

Remarkably, the Swans kicked 12 of the last 14 goals.

The Giants came flying out of the blocks against a sluggish opposition, kicking six first-quarter goals to open up a 37-8 lead at the end of the opening term.

They stretched the lead to 50-16 midway through the second quarter before the Swans scored three straight to reduce the margin to 56-40 at the main break.

Harry Himmelberg had a strong game for the Giants with three goals.

The 21st Sydney derby was originally scheduled for Giants Stadium and was then moved to Ballarat before being shifted to the Sunshine State.

(C) AAP 2021



SYDNEY 1.2 6.4 12.6 15.8 (98)

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 6.1 9.2 9.5 11.6 (72)

Goals: Sydney: L Franklin 4 T Papley 4 J McInerney 2 S Wicks 2 L Parker T Hickey W Hayward. Greater Western Sydney: H Himmelberg 3 D Lloyd 2 J Hogan 2 A Kennedy H Perryman J Finlayson T Bruhn.

Umpires: Chris Donlon, Jacob Mollison, Jamie Broadbent.

Official Crowd: 2,374 at Metricon Stadium.