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Round 9 – Sydney v Fremantle: The milestone men

Sydney v Fremantle

7:25PM, Saturday May 19




Saturday night’s game in Sydney was full of memorable milestones if not necessarily many memorable highlights.


The game started brightly with the Swans winning plenty of the ball. Early goals to Hayward and Ronke, plus a hanger from Heeney suggested the form of the previous week was rolling in to this one. However, through the ruck dominance of the man mountain Sandilands and the influence of the brilliant Fyfe, the Dockers wrestled control of the ball back. If not for some appalling kicking into the forward line and poor decision making, the Dockers may have gone to the first break on level terms rather than 17 points in arrears.


Once the Swans added the first two goals in to the second quarter, that’s where any semblance of a tense contest ended; with Georgie Hewett putting a clamp on Fyfe and our ever efficient backline mopping up every errant kick from the Dockers, sharing and sweeping forward. Lloyd and McVeigh had it on a string. Though they all got plenty of it down back, with Grundy, Rampe and Mills intercept marking every kick that came their way. Milestone man Nick Smith as always went largely unnoticed (even though he rarely makes a mistake and often keeps his opponent quiet) just like he has done for his previous 199 games.


Josh Kennedy, our other milestone man in his 200th game for the Swans had some impact on the scoreboard with a couple of goals. He didn’t get his usual bag load of disposals though, which were shared between the likes of Heeney and Florent. Ollie is looking all the more comfortable in his role as an old fashioned winger. Hannebery is back working his way in to the game. Of course his good mate Buddy Franklin is also back. Bud looked a bit scratchy early, but as always he draws attention to him which opens up the ground for other forwards.


All attention was on him when he crashed through a pack, ball in hand and left his opponent Hamling prone in his wake. The slow-mo replay shows that he’d collected him with an elbow while trying to free his arms. Hamling did not return and the focus turns to whether Buddy will be cited for high contact. I don’t think so. The Swans went into the main break 33 points up. The Dockers only goal to this point had come from a Swans turnover.


I had a big day. I sing in a gospel choir and we had a gig at Federation Square late afternoon. I often ponder the similarities between the arts and sports, particularly group or team endeavours. The outcome relies on the collective efforts, though we all have different talents, and it’s inevitable that there will be fluffed lines …. and missed kicks. Stay in the moment, get back on track. It seems that the Swans are the team that knows how to get out of trouble and deliver a cohesive performance. The Dockers are still trying to work it all out.


I settled back in front of the TV for the second half. I have my elderly Mum staying with me so I’m on my best behaviour. But honestly we were never really challenged and my bad habits were kept at a minimum. The Dockers kept fluffing their lines, we clean up, share it around and deliver the desired outcomes. Buddy provided a milestone highlight of his own in the 3rd quarter with his second goal, his 300th for the Swans. It’s a Stevie J style hook around the body from a set shot in the right pocket; one more for the highlights reel. After Plugger Lockett, he is the only player to kick 300 goals for two different teams. Another four goals for the quarter had us 51 points up at the last break.


The final quarter opened up and was more free-flowing though the pressure was off. Tommy McCartin looked more at home as the game progressed and finished with his first couple of goals in the big time. Buddy and Joey with 3 goals each, Paps and Tommy with 2 each led an even performance with Lloydy and Macca prolific and outstanding.


It’s been a fairly lacklustre game, though a big home win providing a needed percentage boost.


Joey Kennedy’s and Nick Smith’s contributions over 200 games each have been outstanding. Rarely beaten, they are the rocks that great teams are built around.


It seems that we are building towards something. Let’s enjoy the ride and the performances ahead.



SYDNEY       3.3   7.4   11.6  17.9 (111)
FREMANTLE  0.4   1.7   2.9    7.10 (52)

Sydney:  Kennedy 3, Franklin 3, Papley 2, McCartin 2, Hayward, Ronke, Lloyd, Heeney, Parker, Sinclair, Hewett
Fremantle:  Walters 2, Sandilands 2, Langdon, Ballantyne, Fyfe, 

Sydney:  Lloyd, McVeigh, Rampe, Mills, Grundy, Franklin
Fremantle: Neale, Langdon, Ryan, Wilson, Fyfe, Sandilands

Crowd: 27,481


About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.


  1. Not sure how old your “elderly Mum” is, Keiran, but being in that so-called category myself, you certainly wouldn’t have to be on your best behaviour at any time, let alone watching a Swans game!

    Cheer cheer. see you next weekend in Brissie

  2. Ross Treverton says

    I love ‘lacklusture’ games ; but only if we win. My dream (now that the 72 year wait is over), is to have a lacklustre Grand Final victory!
    Another good read Keiran. Cheer, cheer…

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