SWANS WIN AFL GRAND FINAL
THE SYDNEY SWANS have won the 2012 AFL Grand Final, defeating Hawthorn in an epic battle at the MCG. Shane Mumford had to sit out most of the last quarter and a bit with injury but the Swans hung on, withstanding a blitz by the Hawks in the third quarter and start of the final to bring it home by 10 points. Norm Smith Medallist was Ryan O'Keefe. Luke Hodge had a day he'd love to forget, spending much of the match on the bench with runs of a different kind to last week, repeatedly sent off under the blood rule after suffering a gash above an eye, blood streaming down on a regular basis. But you won't find any gloating here, we'd never dream of giving a ribbing to a side that pretty much bottled it after dominating much of the season and being everyone's flag favourite. Not on my watch. Well done Sydney.
The first term was a bit of an arm wrestle with the Hawks booting the opening goal and final three goals to take a handy lead of 19 points into quarter time. But the Swans were much improved in the second with six goals to none, for a 14 point lead at half time. They then booted the first two goals of the second half and seemed ready to break the Hawks' spirit once and for all, but we should have know the Hawks would come fighting and get back. Get back in it they did, booting the next five goals themselves to shock the Swans and most spectators by snatching a five point lead. However the Swans settled, booting one just before three quarter time to hold the narrowest of leads at the final break.
It looked like a potential blowout after Luke Breust and David Hale's goals inside the first three minutes of the final term, instead it was another modern-day classic arm wrestle of a Grand Final. It took the Swans ten minutes to kick their first goal but importantly they would not concede another. Lewis Jetta, not seen much after half time, got the ball to Dan Hannebery who calmly slotted it through and lapped it up. Kieran Jack made the scores level nearly 20 minutes in, and AFL execs and board members shuffled nervously wondering if they were to see a repeat of the 2010 draw. But it was of course not to be, Adam Goodes sensationally kicking a goal a couple minutes later and along with a rushed behind the Swans led by seven points. But of course the Hawks weren't done yet, having the ball inside their 50m arc for pretty much eight minutes but only scoring the four behinds, while the ball was finally rushed up the other end for bearded defender Nick Malceski to score his second and the game's last goal to give his side an unbeatable lead with barely 20 seconds remaining.
1.4, 7.4, 10.5, 14.7 (91) DEFEATED
CROWD: 99,683 at MCG, Melbourne
Sydney Swans are premiers once again! The Swans won their 5th Premiership in VFL/AFL history and their first since 2005 with a brilliant victory over Hawthorn in the 2012 Toyota AFL Grand Final. After sitting on top of the ladder for much of the home and away season, a spectacular finals series proved that Sydney Swans were indeed the best side of the year.
No-one gave them a chance, but the Swans defeated each of the other three top-four sides to take the Premiership away from Victoria. Dominant wins over Adelaide and Collingwood were followed by a historic victory over the Hawks to give John Longmire his first flag as coach.