Sunday, September 30, 2012

Swans Win AFL 2012 Grand Final

Swans win shows something not evident in other codes. AFL is community based and Hawthorn were capable and valiant. Theirs is no disgrace. Hawthorn could easily have won if a few things had gone their way. The game is bigger than the team, or the player. Kudos to Swans for their win, but many thanks to Hawthorn for their gallant and capable play. 2013 will be a new year.

Sydney Swans win 2012 AFL premiership with 10-point win over Hawthorn

IT was breathtaking and brilliant. The Sydney Swans had 22 heroes yesterday as they willed themselves to one of the most stirring grand final victories in years.
They looked down and out when Hawthorn booted the first two goals of the final term, yet coach John Longmire's men dug into the depths that only true champions have to win one of the great grand finals by 10 points.
"I was lucky enough to play in a premiership in my last game, now as a coach to see the 22 players experience it - some for the second time, but many for the first time - is one of the great experiences I've had," Longmire said.
"To see the joy on their faces ... today we'll savour the grand final victory.
"Whether you are a Ryan O'Keefe or an Adam Goodes, who've been here before, or you're Luke Parker, who's 19, you have to enjoy it."
Goodes typified the heart shown by a team that refused to lose. He was on one leg from the second quarter with a knee injury, yet he came up with the goal to put his team ahead at the death.
Former Canadian rugby player Mike Pyke stepped up when fellow ruckman Shane Mumford was struggling with a dodgy hamstring. He had 29 hitouts and 16 disposals.
All-Australian defender Ted Richards was also hampered by injury, yet he did a stirring job on Lance Franklin.
Much is made of the Bloods culture at the Swans, yet this performance showed there is something real in their bond.
It was one of the unsung heroes who ignited the comeback. Mitch Morton took on two Hawks players and forced the ball forward for Kieren Jack to level the scores in a brilliant decider played in front of 99,683 fans to set up the thrilling finish.
It was a game of momentum shifts all day. The Hawks came out firing early and looked set to blow the game open.
Luke Breust kicked a clever grubber for the Hawks' third and when Jack Gunston slotted a major, the lead was 19 points at the first change.
Worryingly, Franklin had amassed 10 possessions and was threatening to explode.
Yet these Swans are made of stern stuff. Longmire marshalled his troops at quarter-time and they responded.
Josh Kennedy's grandfather brought the premiership cup on to the field for the national anthem and he had the pleasure of watching Josh boot the first goal of the second term.
Just minutes later, hard running from Jack was rewarded with a mark in the goal square.
The Swans were starting to win the clearances and they were running harder and doing better in the effort plays.
Captain Jarrad McVeigh got on the end of some fast ball movement for a goal.
However, Sydney's hearts were in their mouths when Goodes hurt his knee in the build-up to the goal.
As Goodes left the field to get taped up, there were plenty of teammates to take up the load and Sydney ran free and easy through the midfield.
They were getting contributions from everywhere, with Morton adding two goals.
Remarkably, the Swans had kicked six unanswered goals to lead by 16 points at half-time.
Goals to Josh Kennedy and Lewis Roberts-Thomson stretched the lead out to 27 points.
But just when Hawthorn looked ready for the knockout punch, they responded in the championship quarter with a bewildering burst of goals.
After scoring just a behind in the second term, the turnaround was stunning as they kicked five goals in the third quarter. It all started with a 55m bomb from Hale and then Franklin added two majors.
McVeigh came up with a steadier for the Swans with a 50m penalty goal to give the Swans a one-point lead heading into the final quarter.
SYDNEY 1.4 7.4 10.5 14.7 (91) HAWTHORN 4.5 4.6 9.10 11.15 (81)
Goals: Sydney: J Kennedy 2 J McVeigh 2 K Jack 2 M Morton 2 N Malceski 2 A Goodes D Hannebery L Roberts-Thomson S Reid. Hawthorn: L Franklin 3 D Hale 2 J Gunston 2 L Breust 2 I Smith X Ellis. Umpires: Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith, Mathew Nicholls, Brett Rosebury.Official Crowd: 99,683 at MCG.

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