LATE goals to veterans Shaun Burgoyne and Jarryd Roughead have completed a rousing six-point win for Hawthorn at the SCG, which may well spell the end of Sydney's finals hopes.
A clutch set shot goal by Burgoyne in the 23rd minute of the fourth quarter, followed by a rushed behind a minute later, levelled the scores at 75-apiece, before Roughead nailed his opportunity from beyond 50 metres to secure a win that had appeared to have slipped from the visitors’ grasp.
Brilliant forward Lance Franklin - wearing the No.67 guernsey to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum - delivered a performance for the ages for Sydney, who were left two rotations down before half-time with Jake Lloyd suffering a concussion in the opening minutes and Sam Reid enduring a similar fate in the second quarter.
Franklin won the Goodes-O'Loughlin Medal for a five-goal effort that thrilled 36,221 fans and took him into the game's all-time top 10 goalkickers.
Burgoyne wore number 67 on the back of his Hawthorn jumper, a move that seemed to have an impact on the output of both players.
But after three successive wins, the Swans' resurgence came to an end at the hands of a Hawks side determined to quash its reputation for late fades.
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"It was satisfying because we had our backs to the wall and were challenged. We stood up when it was really important to stand up," Alastair Clarkson said after the match.
"They had momentum at the back-end of the third quarter and then the first 15 minutes of the last.
"It looked like, at that point in the game, that the dam wall had burst and they were going to go away with the game.
"The resilience of the group just to find a way to fight their way back into the contest … that was the most pleasing part of the victory.
"Nail-biting wins interstate are just really important for the morale of the group."
In an often-spiteful clash, Hawthorn took a 22-point lead before the first term was out and, despite Sydney storming back to within four midway through the second, the visitors fired in the last 10 minutes of the half to hold a 21-point lead, 8.3. (51) to 4.6. (30), at the main break.
Swans coach John Longmire said the opening had cost his team.
"They transitioned the ball from their back half to their forward half too easily in the first half, but we addressed that and tried to control it even with the two blokes down," Longmire said.
"If we'd had a lead at half time it might have been easier to control, but that wasn't the case.
"I thought if we'd gotten our noses in front at the final siren it would have been an enormous effort, but unfortunately we didn't."
Hawthorn had 35 points to one kicked on them by Collingwood in the third term in round nine and, though they went blow for blow in the early exchanges upon the resumption, Sydney piled on the final three goals to close to within a kick, 66-61, at three-quarter time.
When Isaac Heeney finished off a chain that began with a Franklin tackle on the wing in the seventh minute of the final term, the Swans hit the front for the first time and the blond-headed forward scored another to put the home side on the brink.
But, Burgoyne's and then Roughead's late strikes completed a memorable win.
SYDNEY: Jake Lloyd wore a thump to the left side of his head in the first moments of the match, failed a concussion test and was done. Callum Sinclair was forced off early in the second term when his nose began bleeding again after it had been seen to by medical staff at quarter-time. Sam Reid was pinned in a tackle in the second quarter and suffered a concussion, which ended his night. .
HAWTHORN: Lance Franklin’s adversary Josh Gibson had right groin pain and came off in the second quarter, but was soon back in the action. Kaiden Brand underwent a concussion test after a hit from Franklin in the third quarter and was given the all clear to return for the fourth quarter.
The Swans have a week off, allowing them the chance to welcome back the likes of recent absentees Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack and Sam Naismith for their clash with the Bulldogs on June 8.
No rest for the Hawks, who face a six day split before travelling to Adelaide to take on Port.
SYDNEY 2.4 4.6 9.7 11.9 (75)
HAWTHORN 5.1 8.3 10.6 12.9 (81)
Sydney: Franklin 5, Heeney 2, Papley, Kennedy, Jones, Rohan
Hawthorn: Bruest 3, Burgoyne 2, Whitecross 2, Gunston, Puopolo, Sicily, Cousins, Roughead
Sydney: Franklin, Hannebery, Kennedy, Heeney, Rampe, Smith
Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Shiels, Mitchell, Smith, Burton, Hodge
Sydney: Jake Lloyd (concussion), Sam Reid (concussion)
Umpires: Donlon, Fisher, Rosebury
Official crowd: 36,221 at the SCG