Sydney Swans (16.10) 106 – (17.5) 107 GWS Giants

The Sydney Swans lost to the GWS Giants by a single point in the last few minutes of the Sydney Derby last night, after looking in control with a 23-point lead.

After being reminded of their brutal 81-point grand final loss last round in the 93-point annihilation at the hands of the Geelong Cats, the Swans had a lot to play for at the SCG.

The Giants were just as keen to keep them at bay, with Captain Toby Greene scoring four goals – including the last-minute right foot snap that pushed the Giants across the line for a one-point victory. The skipper was rightfully named best on ground for his 22 disposal performance.

Sydney’s Luke Parker had the most disposals of the game, finishing with a whopping 33 touches, including 11 clearances, two goal assists and even a goal of his own. Buddy Franklin managed to score three goals after recently returning from injury, with young guns Logan McDonald and Will Hayward also scoring a hat-trick.

After the dramatic loss on the big stage in 2022, many were sceptical of whether the Swans were capable of maintaining the standard of footy they played throughout the 2022 season.

The past two rounds are proving that the Swans are not immune to the pressure that results from losing in such a dramatic fashion.

[We] did a lot right, but we didn’t do enough right.

Swans coach, John Longmire kept a positive attitude after the loss saying: “I thought our leaders were fantastic, our effort was at a really high level, our intent was good. There were just a few things that we didn’t get right.”

However, he was not afraid to address how there is room in the side for improvement. After only having 10 inside-50s in the last quarter, Longmire stated his team, “did a lot right, but we didn’t do enough right”.

Contributing to their last couple of performances are the injuries sustained by key players; with goal-scorer Joel Amartey injuring his hamstring against Richmond in round five, as well as defender Paddy McCartin, who’s not sure if he will return to AFL at all after a severe head knock in round four.

The home derby was always going to be an uphill climb for the battered Swans and the Giants ensured just that. Toby Greene’s side ran out with clear intent to make it very difficult for the Swans, who were favourites.

Conor Idun successfully silenced regular goal-kicker Isaac Heeney, who ended up kicking one behind and one set-shot across the face of the goal.

Number one draft pick Aaron Cadman even got in on the action, kicking a goal in the second term.

The Swans were trailing the Giants for the first half of the game, with the Giants holding a 10-point lead after the second term. It wasn’t until their six-goal third quarter where they gained the lead for the first time – with midfielder Errol Gulden kicking the goal to put them in front.


By the middle of the fourth quarter, it seemed as though the Swans had sealed the deal. Franklin propelled this momentum, kicking two goals in the third quarter and another in the fourth.

After a goal from the boot of Chad Warner in the 10th minute of the fourth quarter, the Swans held the lead by 23 points. Harry Perryman and Toby Greene both kicked two goals – Greene kicked his match winning snap in the last two minutes of the game to scrape past the Swans by a single point.

In a post-match interview Greene said his team were “able to capitalise on a couple of bits of good play. It was just a tough game, it could’ve gone either way. It was a good win, we’ll take it”.

This is the second heart-breaking last minute loss at the SCG for the Swans, having lost to Port Adelaide Power in round four in the last seconds of the game when Ollie Florent’s kick fell short of the goal.

This result is a significant test for the Sydney Swans resilience. Whether they can bounce back from these hardships and find similar success to the 2022 season is becoming more unlikely each round.

Main image FoxSport screenshot.