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Every Swan rated from the Grand Final: Kennedy stands tall

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Ben McGlynn of the Swans and Josh Kennedy of the Swans look dejected after the 2016 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 01, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
The pain was too much for Josh Kennedy and Ben McGlynn as the Swans tasted defeat

Lance Franklin – 4
Harassed all game by the superb Joel Hamling, the superstar channeled Jonah Lomu by trying to burst through tackles, the last time it cost his team the match-defining goal. First quarter ankle injury limited his impact. Kicked a great pressure goal in the final term, but despite the $10-million pay packet is yet to deliver the Swans a flag. Gets judged more harshly than others because of his freakish talent.

Despondent Longmire laments workrate

Heath Grundy – 8
Repelled more attacks than Bushman's mosquito gel, taking five intercept marks in the opening half alone, but had his hands full when Tom Boyd started asserting himself in the second term. Almost clung onto a brilliant one-hander, but it ultimately spilled free and cost a goal. Had 21 touches and can hold his head high.

• 10 things we learned from the Grand Final

Dan Hannebery – 5
What is it with Dan Hannbery and rib-busting tackles in Grand Finals? The tough nut was crunched by Jarryd Roughead in 2014 and nailed again by Zaine Cordy in the opening term, before being carried off in the last quarter after Easton Wood dove across his knee. Had 22 touches but not much impact.

Hannebery hobbled by medial knee injury

Isaac Heeney – 7
There's not many better reputations to build than 'Mr. September' and the young gun was again heroic with 22 touches in a losing battle. Worked deep in defence from a wing and also went forward, where he threatened without getting on the scoreboard. Cleaner hands than a surgeon under pressure. 

 

George Hewett – 3
Kicked a pressure set shot from 45m in the last quarter to reduce the margin to a point but was otherwise rarely sighted despite trying hard. 

Kieren Jack – 5
Took one of the great Grand Final marks running back into the hole and getting crunched by Easton Wood in the first quarter. Missed the ensuing shot at goal and hung another to the left in the second term and couldn't will the Swans home with just five touches after half-time. 

 

Zak Jones – 5
Came into the game late with his dash from defence as the Swans rolled the dice. Relished the tough stuff and finished with 21 touches in a solid game. 

Josh Kennedy – 9
Bulldozed a path through stoppages in a stunning opening half with 22 touches and two goals and looked to have the Norm Smith Medal in the bag after dominating the second term. Ended up with 34 touches, five clearances and three majors in an immense effort, but needed more mates.

'This hurts more than 2014', says Kennedy

Jeremy Laidler – 4
Held his spot despite speculation he would be the man to make way for Callum Mills. Had the first kick of the game but struggled to have any influence and gave away a bad 50m penalty after cannoning into Jack Macrae.

Jake Lloyd – 5
Found plenty of the ball and gave the Swans some drive between the arcs with three inside 50s and five rebound 50s. Nervy early but was a solid contributor. 

• As it happened: Dogs surge to historic flag

Ben McGlynn – 3
Hopefully that wasn't McGlynn's last game because the small forward had a stinker and suffered yet more heartbreak. McGlynn has now lost both Grand Final appearances and missed two flags and he'll rue having only nine touches against the Dogs, with a missed set shot in the final term a kick in the guts.

Ben McGlynn may have missed his chance to play in a premiership side. Picture: AFL Photo


Jarrad McVeigh – 4
Hard to know if the co-captain was restricted by the calf injury which kept him from the preliminary final, but he went missing before half-time with just five touches and seemingly spent most of his time arguing with the umpires. He'll be disappointed.

How the fans saw it: The view from the stands

Callum Mills – 6
The NAB AFL Rising Star winner came back after 21 days on the sidelines with a hamstring and tried his heart out. Mills took a brilliant one-handed mark early running back with the flight and kept fighting to the bitter end. Amazing he's in his first year.

Tom Mitchell – 8
Swans ball magnet showed why Hawthorn would be keen to snare him with 26 hard-fought possessions despite only picking up two to the first break. Snapped two crucial second-term goals and laid a game-high 13 tackles. If this was Mitchell's last game for the Swans, he can be content he gave it everything.

Sam Naismith – 6
Battled hard at ground level and in the air, where he was an important outlet option for the Swans coming out of defence. Left nothing out there and had a match-high 21 hit-outs in a good tussle with Jordan Roughead and Tom Boyd.

Tom Papley – 4
His job is to kick goals and apply pressure so he gets a cross and a tick there. Finished with five tackles and just a solitary behind from an attempted miracle snap over his shoulder when he should've centred the ball in the final term to Josh Kennedy.

• Match report: Dogs stun Swans to complete 2016 fairytale

Luke Parker – 5
The Brownlow Medal runner-up was unusually quiet, especially after he bobbed up to break the deadlock and kicked the opening goal after 13 minutes. Looked sore late and had just eight touches after half-time.

It wasn't Luke Parker's best game. Picture: AFL Photos

Dane Rampe – 7
As a rule, defenders don't win Brownlow or Norm Smith medal votes but Rampe deserves plaudits for his job neutralizing Jake Stringer. Was so influential that Liam Picken was sent his way after half-time and his only mistake was being caught holding the ball late. Had 24 touches, 11 marks and nine rebound 50s. Huge game.

Xavier Richards – 3
Little impact in a Swans forward line that only kicked 10 goals. Just three touches in the first half and 10 for the game, while he failed to score despite the chance to put the Swans ahead in the third term.

Gary Rohan – 2
An absolute shocker from the speedy redhead. Rohan did kick a goal after turning off a step when nobody realised the ball had been touched and slotting the Swans' fourth major, but a failed attempt to dummy Easton Wood on the wing summed up his day.

 

Nick Smith – 7
Another classy display from the All Australian backman, although his man Tory Dickson booted three majors. Smith cancelled one out when he was the unlikely kicker of the Swans' second major – his first goal for three years. Held up under the weight of ball coming into the Dogs' attacking 50m. 

Kurt Tippett – 3
Started deep in attack alongside Buddy Franklin, but only really had an impact when he was relieving Sam Naismith in the ruck. Won 17 hit-outs and had a presence in the middle, but the Swans needed more from their high-priced big man. 

THE COACH
John Longmire – 7 
Doesn't get the credit he deserves for introducing seven debutants into the Swans line-up this season and guiding the side to the top of the ladder and into a third Grand Final in five years. Possibly could've shaken things up in the season-decider to get Franklin into the game more, but overall it was a superb season for the Swans mentor.