GWS pushes back Sydney in AFL Finals thriller | Mandurah Courier
Sydney Great West coach Leon Cameron admitted his side were scared before hanging on for a thrilling one-point win over Sydney in their AFL playoff final.
The Swans jumped up after halftime but missed several opportunities to steal the lead in the death at the University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston on Saturday afternoon.
Although they only scored one point in the final quarter, the Giants triumphed from 11.8 (74) to 10.13 (73) to book a semi-final clash with Geelong next weekend. .
“Our whole group was probably a little scared and lost a little bit,” Cameron said of his thoughts after three quarters.
“We still have a lot of learning for a young group.”
The Giants could have headaches after superstar Toby Greene, who has scored a team-high three goals, appeared to come into contact with referee Matt Stevic during the final break.
It came after a fiery third quarterback in which Greene got a free kick for a canceled high tackle when he apparently pushed Swans defenseman Justin McInerney in the face.
Greene dominated early, scoring the Giants’ first two goals in a first-term showdown.
The Swans, who trailed 29 points in the third term, moved closer to a major in the later stages but missed several manageable shots that would have given them the advantage.
“It was great courage to hold on at the right time,” Cameron said.
“We’re proud to have won a tight finals. It was a bit hairy there in the last three or four minutes.”
Sydney superstar Lance Franklin, who has scored three goals and has 995 in his quest for 1,000 career majors, had a 50 away chance with less than three minutes on the clock, but was not framed.
“It’s a heartbreaking way to end a season,” said Swans coach John Longmire.
“I am so proud of the football club, of the way we have been able to meet the challenges throughout this season.
“We kept coming and going and gave ourselves what we thought was every chance of winning.”
Led 57-34 at halftime, Sydney came to life on the back of young Isaac Heeney, who scored two consecutive goals and repeated the effort in the fourth quarter.
GWS opened the game earlier with a five-goal streak in the second term.
Franklin, who had come back to the ground in stages, struck twice in the second quarter, including an effort on the bridge and a goal of a strong mark outside 50m.
The Giants’ Jesse Hogan was fortunate enough to put his team ahead early in the third with two good marks inside 50, but both kicks hit the post.
He scored one after the siren of the third term to bolster his team’s lead before the final quarter.
The Giants will sweat on the fitness of Isaac Cumming, who didn’t finish the game with a coiled ankle, and Tom Green (wrist).
Australian Associated Press