Franklin was held to a single goal and two behinds going into the last quarter, much to Dockers defender Alex Silvagni’s credit, but the minor premiers’ class came to the fore in the end. 

As the Dockers made their final stanza charge, Franklin first kicked a 60m bomb to wrest back control. 

The game’s most expensive player then found space in the left pocket and kicked a maximum on the run at a sharp angle as the Swans skipped away to a 22-point lead. 

That was game over for the 35,998 fans at ANZ Stadium as the Swans went one step closer to a return to Grand Final day at the MCG.

“We just thought his kicking ability up through the middle of the ground – he’s a beautiful field kick as well as a kick for goal,” John Longmire said on Franklin.

“His speed, plus taking away their reference point where their extra (defender) was going, he got involved and was pretty hard to stop when he’s running around like that.

“And he can kick it from so far out, it was a combination of all those things, and it worked OK.”

Hawthorn, the team Buddy deserted for the Harbour City, had a slightly easier time on Friday as they secured the other home preliminary final with a 36-point flogging of Geelong. 

The reigning premier Hawks are now on track for a third consecutive Grand Final but they too left it late to hammer home an advantage, kicking four of the last five goals of the match.

Jack Gunston kicked three goals in an enticing battle with defender Tom Lonergan while Jordan Lewis found the middle posts three times himself, twice late on. 

“We were really pleased with our endeavour tonight,” Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said. 

“We tackled well and put a lot of pressure on the Geelong ball-carrier.

“You just need to persevere in big games against quality opponents. We stuck at it and eventually broke the game open later on.”

Geelong and Fremantle will get a second bite at the cherry against the winners of the elimination finals between North Melbourne and Essendon, and Port Adelaide and Richmond.


Hawthorn 15.14 (104) beat Geelong 10.8 (68)

Sydney 13.15 (93) beat Fremantle 10.9 (69)

Image via Getty