Match report: Brilliant Buddy crushes the Blues

There's performances and there's performances, and Buddy's 10 goal haul on Saturday night was an all-time great performance.

Spectacular in every sense of the word, quite frankly one of the most ridiculous performances you'll ever see, kicking 10 goals, collecting 25 disposals, 11 of them contested - at 76% efficiency - and recording more than 650 metres gained.

There really aren't enough superlatives in the English dictionary to describe how good a player he is, or that performance.

When he's on, he puts bums on seats and people pay a lot of money to see him shine, and after his last month there's big things on the horizon, and a lot of happy bums.

But we can't do this match report without special mention to his 850th goal, a ridiculous ankle tap that Soccer followers would be proud of.

Pre-game

The Swans made two changes from the previous weekend, bringing in Cunningham and Newman for injured duo Hannebery (hip) and Papley (knee).

Both failed to train during the week and were put on ice for the finals.

The rumour from Carlton was that Casboult wouldn't play, but in the end he lined up, and given his performance, not playing would have been far kinder.

The match

The Swans dominated the opening clinches and had their first on the board through a Tippett snap.

After a shot inside the first minute had fallen short, Carlton failed to clear the ball and it was thrown up, Tippett roved his own tap and cleverly snapped it through the goals.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901333008547946496

The Swans followed up just minutes later with Franklin kicking truly 45 metres out with a straight run up; someone's been working with him because that ball went dead straight.

The Swans continued to dominate most of the play throughout the quarter, but a dogged rear guard action by the Blues ensured they weren't blown off the park early.

A good mark by Sam Reid and conversion extended the Swans lead to 20 points with Carlton failing to score, let alone get it inside their forward 50.

Behinds to Towers and Heeney was offset by Tippett rolling his ankle in a marking contest late in the quarter, before Boekhurst had the Blues' first of the night.

The swans lead at the first change by 16, yet for all their dominance could only muster three goals.

Callum Sinclair rolled his ankle early in the 2nd quarter, leaving the Swans with Reid and Towers in the ruck.

Lance Franklin extended the lead to 29 with two quick goals, as the Swans looked like turning the screws and blowing the Blues away.

The first was the result of a play-on advantage, delivered superbly by Gary Rohan inside 50, marking in front of his opponent, 40 metres out on a 45 degree angle.

The second was even better, nailing it from a tighter angle in the right-hand pocket, with the goal umpire barely moving.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901343048151441408

But then everything turned, just like it did last week against the Crows; the Swans leading by 29 points once again got lazy, stopped running and started turning the ball over.

The Blues got on a run and closed the quarter out strongly, kicking 4 goals in a row trailing by just 5 points before a behind to Kennedy and a goal to Hayward pushed the lead back out to 12.

There was a bit of nervous energy in the stand at half-time with concern over the Blues and both ruckman, but it was quickly assuaged by Hayward, kicking the first of the half, before the "Buddy" show really started.

His 850th career goal, joining an exclusive list of all time great players, not just great goal kickers, was as absurd as his goal of the year effort against the Crows.

He dropped a sitter in the goal square, before it fortuitously dropped between his legs, before using what looked like an accidental heel flick to nudge it across the line.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901357056740937728

The Blues replied through Boekhurst for his 3rd of the match, then a comedy of errors almost lead to a 2nd goal in a row for the Blues.

Only spectacular goal-line action from Kieren Jack saved a certain goal, leaping over Grundy in one of the most spectacular smothers you'll ever see.

If he was just a few inches taller, a job for the Socceroos would be beckoning after that effort.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901357467883380736

After another turnover by the Swans, again not capitalised on by the young Pickett, the Swans started playing "give it to Buddy" at every chance.

But it was Rohan who stole the limelight in the 3rd quarter with another soccer moment, banging a goal home from out of midair in the goal square.

No doubt delighted with his effort, he started his celebration a bit too early, throwing his arms up, then out in front, before spilling spectacularly over the fence.

The look on his face when he was sprawled out in the crowd was priceless, a look of confusion Nd bewilderment as all the fans cheered on in raptures, but not quite as good as the video.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901359279520702464

Carlton refused to give up and Pickett had his first of the night just minutes later.

Undaunted, the Swans game plan was clear, and Buddy had his 5th on the board shortly after.

Buddy sprinted onto a clearance inside the Swans' forward 50 and banged it home over the forlorn defender in the goal square, minding Will Hayward.

His sixth goal came just 90 seconds later, taking the lead in the coleman with another lead and mark, giving Liam Jones and all Carlton defenders a bath.

Superb centre clearance work by Mills and McVeigh ended up with the ball in Jones' hands, who sprinted through the middle of the park before banging it long to Franklin, who took a 2-grabber contested mark 20 metres out.

Curnow responded shortly after before Rohan bagged his second of the night, then Hayward with his 3rd to close out the quarter.

Despite Franklin already kicking 6 goals, Nic Newman ignored him in the pocket and drilled it deep inside 50 to Gary Rohan, who easily brushed aside his defender, sending him cartwheeling out of the contest.

Hayward was the beneficiary of a deliberate call against Daisy Thomas, who was slung in a tackle by Franklin and hand balled in 20 metres to the boundary.

The Swans' 7 goal effort blew the Blues away, but unlike the 2nd quarter, they didn't let up with percentage potentially deciding the last finals position in the top 6.

Kennedy instantly got the balling rolling, and the scoreboard ticking over, the first of 8 goals for the quarter, running on to a spilled ball in the forward 50.

Franklin soon after had his 7th of the match as the Blues defence wilted around him, collecting the spoils of a big mistake by Liam Jones, slapping the ball out of bounds and being penalised for it.

Heeney finally got his first goal of the match after missing two gettable earlier opportunities, and soon after Rohan had his 3rd of the match, chasing down Docherty and slamming him into the ground to earn a free kick in the goal square.

Franklin wasn't anywhere near finished for the match, kicking his eighth barely a minute later, after great work by Parker to waltz around witches hats in the centre square - it's worth pointing out that Carlton had clearly given up by this point - clearing the ball and going long to Franklin, who marked almost 5 metres in front of Jones.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901367578676809728

Another passage of play from defence, worked far too easily out of defence, before an advantage to Jones went long again to Franklin, who again, marked in front of his opponent almost unopposed.

Newman had his first goal of the match two minutes later and Franklin kicked his 10th and final goal of the match came just a minute later, spectacularly roving one of the few marking contests he didn't go up for.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/901369458144428032

It was as good a performance as you're likely to ever see, certainly one of the all time great individual performances.

Franklin had a chance to kick his 11th goal at the end of the quarter, but luck this time was not on his side, kicking his 2nd behind of the match.

Medical room

Kurt Tippett rolled his ankle in a marking contest late in the first quarter and required treatment, but was able to play out the remainder of the 2nd quarter and the third quarter, before sitting out the last.

Callum Sinclair rolled his ankle early in the 2nd quarter and required treatment, but was able to play out the match, returning the field midway through the 2nd quarter.

Both players are expected to be available for the first final on September 9th.

Next up

The Swans will play Essendon in 2nd elimination final in the Saturday twilight match on September 9th at 4.40pm.

The Swans have a good win rate with the Saturday twilight matches, thrashing the Suns and Blues, while losing their first match of the season.

The last time these two teams met, the Swans had to come from behind to win the match, despite leading by 5 goals midway through the 3rd quarter, riding their luck with shocking inaccuracy in front of goal.

The last time these two teams met in a final was 1996, with AFL legend Tony Lockett kicking the winning point after the siren to give the Swans their first grand final of the AFL era.

Sydney Swans
3.46.713.1021.12138
Carlton Blues
1.05.18.48.957

Goals: Franklin 10, Rohan 3, Hayward 3, Tippett, Reid, Kennedy, Newman, Heeney

Best: Franklin, Kennedy, Rohan, Parker, Jones, Newman, Grundy

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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