The Sydney Swans emerged victorious in what was another thrilling AFL Grand Final on Saturday, defeating Hawthorn 14.7 (91) to 11.15 (81).
Led by Norm Smith medallist Ryan O’Keefe, Sydney fought back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to claim the club's second Premiership in AFL history. Here were some of the great moments from the game.
The Defining Moment
Sydney’s first AFL Premiership in 2005 was defined by a single moment: down five points and already in the waning seconds of the game, West Coast ruckman Dean Cox desperately launched one final kick inside 50 hoping for a mark. A pack emerged under it, but veteran defender Leo Barry stood the tallest and took the mark to seal the game. It is the one image that lives on from the historic win.
Another Swans' veteran may have defined the 2012 version. With under a goal the difference Nick Malceski was able to snap the decider with just 38 seconds remaining. It too brought the house down.
Adam Goodes is one of the game’s greats. He didn’t play his best game (he collected 14 possessions and kicked a single goal), but his leadership and courage were prevalent . Goodes suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the second quarter, but refused to die in the most important game of the year. His lone goal came with just seven minutes remaining in the final term and gave the Swans a 7-point buffer.
Coach John Longmire said afterwards of Goodes, "He didn't even flinch. He said 'Don't worry about me'. He went on and no excuses from him, went out there and contributed really well."
Goodes didn’t take any painkillers and played simply on adrenaline. The PCL injury will keep him off the track for 6-10 weeks.
Ted Richards got the better of Buddy Franklin for much of the match, but Franklin was a star in his own right. It was two massive goals from the league’s pre-eminent forward that brought the Hawks back into the game as they went on to kick five unanswered majors. His 3.4 and 24 disposals weren’t enough to carry the Hawks on the day, but he did enough to put them in a position to win it.
The Role Players
Both clubs received fantastic performances from a number of under the radar type guys, but none better than that of Sydney forward Mitch Morton.
Morton, a fringe player in recent years, couldn’t get a game throughout most of the season, but didn’t look back after earning selection late in the year.
After failed stops at West Coast and Richmond, Morton appears to have found a home for good at Sydney after a successful finals campaign and two great goals in the Grand Final.
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