Afternoon all, it's Tuesday and that means it's time for another instalment of The Swans Blog's podcast.
The Swans finished off the season superbly with a crushing 81-point-victory over the beleaguered Carlton Blues, returning the favour to a team that in round 6 dealt out one of the real crushing losses to the Swans.
Not so much crushing on the scoreboard as it was to the heart of every Swan, having mourned the losses to the Dogs, Pies and Giants, losing to the Blues in the manner they did, was just soul crushing. Thankfully they turned it around the following week in a slightly convincing win, and the rest is history, winning 14 from 16 matches, and 11 from 12 after the bye.
The return fixture provided the Swans the opportunity to seek revenge for the shambolic loss earlier in the season, and despite a very poor second quarter, got the job done emphatically.
So much so that Franklin had his 2nd best career haul, and the first player since 2015 to kick 10 or more goals in a game. Unbelievably, his score 10.2 was the same as his 9-year contract with the Swans, $10.2 million. There's some numerology for you Cameron Mooney.
The ultimate goal from the match was the survive without injuries, but unfortunately they weren't able to do so, with Tippett and Sinclair both off the field receiving treatment by the early stages of the second quarter. While Sinclair returned to the field and played out the match, quite well too, Tippett will be a concern given he sat out the last quarter. He's injured that ankle twice and he's rolled it in consecutive weeks, so there's a bit to be worried about.
The third and fourth quarters were a delight to watch, scoring an incredible 95 points, almost all of it in the space of 45 minutes. Franklin came from 5-goals behind to snatch the Coleman medal with his 10-goal haul, kicking four of the teams' eight in the last quarter, while Josh Kennedy for the Eagles could only muster a single goal in their win against the minor premiers.
Unfortunately for Melbourne, if you can consider it given their disastrous first half against the Pies, the Eagles winning knocked them out of the finals and left the Swans facing the Bombers. They've beaten them this season, in spectacular come-from-behind fashion, but it was a position they should never have found themselves in to begin with.
One can only hope that there's no repeat of the fourth quarter heroics - unless necessary - more so, letting a 5-goal lead slip to 7 consecutive goals. Poor goal kicking left them in with a chance, and they were always threatening a boil over, and if the Swans don't take them seriously again and put the score on the board and put them away early, they'll keep coming until the final siren.
Announced just last night, Will "the coaches pet" Hayward received the round 23 rising star nomination for his superb 3-goal effort. This is undoubtedly one to fit him in, considering his first game was a good one and his early form fantastic. He's had a few quiet games, despite kicking bags, but has hit the scoreboard when its mattered and has been deadly accurate in front of goals. More so, his defensive acts in front of goal have helped the Swans shut down defenders and have gone a long way to helping the team win.
"I don't know where that started, but 'Pap' said it in a post-match interview and that blew it up a bit," Hayward told AFL.com.au with a chuckle.
"(Our relationship) is pretty much the same as every other player."
"It feels good and it was pretty surprising, given I had three kicks this week, but it’s nice to receive the nomination," he said.
"But it's not really about that for me, with obviously having a pretty slow start to the year, then to be where we are now. I definitely have moments where I pinch myself, especially considering the likes of the people I play with – we've got a team full of stars."
Papley is still throwing him under the bus to this day, having a dig at his tupperware and banana bread.
What a great young player he is and a superb pick up for the recruitment team. While Florent is one for the future, Hayward has had an immediate impact on the team and filled the role that Xavier Richards performed well in last year.
Injury news looks good for the Swans as well with big men Callum Sinclair and Kurt Tippett expected to be available for selection next Thursday. Great news with both leaving the field early in the first half for treatment. Meanwhile, Sam Naismith returns to the NEAFL side this weekend as he pushed for selection, while Hannebery and Papley are both expected to be fit for next weekends elimination final against Essendon.
In this weeks episode, I'm joined by Heather Quinlan, former Sydney Morning Herald journalist, and well known from the Facebook group Interstate Crew, and Stephen Treloar from Over The Line Sports.
We discuss the weekend's results, the crushing Swans victory, injuries as well as the inept match review panel, and spend some time looking back on the season that was.
As always, it's another great episode, so kick back, enjoy a coffee and listen to us discuss the Swans.
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Enjoy the podcast and more to come throughout the week.
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