Buddy fires Sydney to AFL win over Port

The stakes were high for both AFL sides but, in the end, Sydney were the ones with the $10 million trump card.


Lance Franklin produced one of the best performances of his career at the SCG on Saturday to lift his side to a thrilling four-point win over ladder leaders Port Adelaide.

The superstar forward’s five-goal haul in the second half proved the difference in what was a hotly contested match and left the sold-out crowd of 41,317 in raptures.

The 14.14 (98) to 13.16 (94) triumph extended the Swans’ unbeaten run to eight and has them within just one game of the Power.

While both struggled on a seemingly slippery deck and at times wasteful in front of goal, no more than 21 points ever separated the league’s in-form teams.

After nearly 90 minutes without a major and only four behinds, Franklin stepped up when it counted.

Two goals in the third quarter and three in the final term – including an incredible 60m punt – helped stave off a late charge from the Power, who closed to within one point in the dying stages.

“He really stood up in the last quarter,” coach John Longmire said.

“In the game that’s sort of see-sawing like that, it’s handy to have him in the front half and to be able to hit the scoreboard like he did in the last quarter.

“It was a really good effort.”

Swans co-captain Kieren Jack opened the home side’s account in his 150th game with a goal in the opening 90 seconds.

Jarrad McVeigh followed it with one of his own moments later, as Port struggled to keep an early handle on a rampant Swans outfit.

The pressure was all on the visitors, kept scoreless until an 18th-minute free-kick to Jay Schulz provided some relief.

The momentum shifted the Power’s way in the second term – Angus Monfries and Matt White leading the way with two goals apiece to snatch the lead for the first – and only – time after just under an hour of play.

But the Swans hit back with a spectacular 60m mark and kick from Lewis Jetta and a trio of goals from Adam Goodes for a seven-point lead at halftime.

They continued to push in the third quarter, with All Australian midfielders McVeigh, Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery scoring before Franklin’s pair of quickfire goals inside 90 seconds.

Despite taking a 15-point into the final term, the tables turned quickly with goals to Port star Chad Wingard, Monfries, Justin Westhoff and Schulz – who booted his fourth with seconds to spare.

But in the end, the 2012 premiers prevailed.

“They were right there and they won the game at the end of the day,” said Power coach Ken Hinkley.

“We really did dominate that last quarter but we weren’t able to get enough score in front.

“We’ve said all the time that we’re a hard-running side; that’s one of our key strengths.

“We lived up to that again today in a tough game.”

Hamish Hartlett added to Port’s unlucky run with foot injuries this season, rolling his ankle and potentially out for a week.