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Finals Week 1 – Sydney v GWS: Very, very scary, even in bright sunlight


We were out at ANZ Stadium for the Swans and Giants preliminary final. It was a historic day in a place that will be soon and thankfully be forgotten to history. ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park is the equivalent of a Danish pig abattoir. Able to process tens of thousands. Industrial architecture. Pre poured beer.


We had to explain the game to young Zachary. We had to explain how they ran through the banners and how the people in green were umpires. But I couldn’t explain to him why we were playing there. It didn’t make much sense that Sydney had ended up higher on the ladder and got a home final with no home advantage at a ground that no one is ever going to play at again. Perhaps it was about the AFL being able to sell another ten thousand tickets. That wouldn’t have made much sense to an four year old. It didn’t make much sense to me.


It started as a beautiful sunny day and the Swans were clear favourites. The first ten minutes were pretty inconsequential but Buddy finally kicked one to the corridor for Papley to convert and he was gifted another one only a minute later. The Giants regained some composure and clawed back to be level and that was pretty much the way it was for the whole first half with a point separating them at quarter time and two points at the half.


There were some portents. As the game rolled on, the dark clouds rolled in and the day went from a sunny winter day to some sort of bleak and cold Parisian winter. It was like one of those French films of the fifties; dark and filled with foreboding. Just out of sight, there would always be a gangster with a sub machine gun and a Gauloise. Just to prove it, Kennedy and Tippett got bashed out of the game and Mills did a hamstring just before half time.


And then halfway through the third quarter, this complex and pressured game broke open. Heeney was denied a mark that most thought he had taken and the Giants ran the ball down to the other end for a goal. Cameron really started imposing himself in the forward line and the Giants midfield showed just how rolled gold they were. With the game over halfway through the 4th quarter, the Giants stormed home and the Swans fans had nothing but complaints very about the ground and the umpires and the memory of a really good team who were being flogged only a few years ago.


You had to give it to the Giants. Most people said that they would never make it. Most people through that they wouldn’t win this one and yet they beat the Swans at their own game.They outtackled and out smothered. Cameron carved them up inside fifty.The Giants left the game as winners but the Swans are still alive and there might still become distance for each of them to go this year. But we did see a glimpse of the very near future and it looked pretty scary. Even in bright sunlight.


SYDNEY SWANS 3.3 5.7 6.10 7.13 (55)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 3.4 5.9 9.13 12.19 (91)


Sydney Swans: Papley 2, Jack 2, Hewett, Kennedy, McGlynn
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 4, Greene 2, Scully 2, Smith, Whitfield, Coniglio, Ward


Sydney Swans: Hannebery, Aliir, Grundy
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron, Coniglio, Scully


Sydney Swans: Mills (hamstring), Kennedy (head), Tippett (head)
Greater Western Sydney: Ward (shoulder)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Nicholls, Chamberlain, Ryan


Official crowd: 60,222 at ANZ Stadium


  1. Cat from the Country says

    I know what it is like to have my team carved up by the Swans. I was at the Syney game in ’14 and ’15. It was not pretty.

    The Cats somehow hung on to beat the Hawks and the umpires.
    Go Cats

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