INCENDIARY on-field insults, harbour city bragging rights and Lance Franklin snubbing the Giants to move to Sydney added early spice to the Derby rivalry but the real heat comes from two fiery finals.

While other crosstown rivalries have their own history of hostilities, none of the 53 Western Derbies have graced a finals stage and only one of the 50 Showdowns – a semi-final in 2005 – have been settled in September.

The Swans hold a 13-8 lead in Sydney Derbies, built on winning eight of the first nine meetings, but the Giants have saluted when the stakes are highest – in both of their finals clashes so far.

Ahead of the Swans and Giants meeting in an elimination final on Saturday we look back at the two finals that lit a spark under the Sydney Derby.

‘MATCHUP CATCHUP’ is now streaming in AFL On Demand

2016 qualifying final

This was the Giants' first final since joining the League in 2012 and they started with a bang.

The Swans had finished on top of the ladder but the fourth-placed Giants outmuscled and outfought their rivals to claim a 36-point victory in a spiteful qualifying final.

02:18 Mins
Published on

High Tension: The historic first Sydney Derby final

Revisit the 2016 qualifying final clash between the Swans and Giants

Published on


The contest started simmering halfway through the first term when Tom Papley slid to take a mark just inside the 50m arc and Nathan Wilson came in late to land on top of the small forward.

Wilson didn't appreciate the follow-up attention from several Swans, led by co-captain Kieren Jack.

Sydney's Tom Papley celebrates a goal during the 2016 qualifying final against GWS. Picture: AFL Photos


Steve Johnson poured more fuel onto the finals bonfire when he ignored the ruck contest at a ball-up inside the Giants' forward line and targeted Josh Kennedy instead.

Johnson's off-the-ball bump caught Kennedy high as well as by surprise, and spotfires broke out while the Swans' onballer was helped from the field.

Lance Franklin fronted up to GWS ruckman Shane Mumford and for a moment it looked like a heavyweight bout was on the cards until play finally resumed.

00:00 Mins
Published on

Swan seeing stars after Stevie J clash

Josh Kennedy leaves the field for a concussion test after contact from Steve Johnson

Published on


In the ball-up that followed, Mumford wrestled Kurt Tippett to the ground as Callan Ward leapt to be third man up in the ruck contest.

The Giants' co-captain caught a tumbling Tippett high and the ruckman was the second Swan in a matter of minutes to be helped from the ground.


Just a minute of play later and with a throw-in back inside the Giants' forward-50, Johnson went to pick up a loose ball but was bumped high by Jack who had little interest in laying a tackle.

The bell rang soon after to end the first round and Franklin went straight for Johnson with some choice words while a skirmish kicked off around them.

Sydney's Lance Franklin and GWS' Steve Johnson confront each other during the 2016 qualifying final. Picture: AFL Photos


As the game approached half-time with the scores level Mumford brought Tippett to the ground with a crunching tackle that left the Swans ruckman dazed for a second time.


Only a few points separated the teams in the third term until Jeremy Cameron kicked three goals in five minutes to blow the game wide open.

The Giants went on to complete a rousing victory and set up a home preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, but it would be the battered and bruised Swans that would eventually play off in the 2016 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

00:00 Mins
Published on

Highlights: Sydney Swans v GWS

The Swans and Giants clash in the 1st qualifying final

Published on

2018 elimination final

The set-up for the arch rivals' most recent final was much the same as this year, with the Swans finishing in sixth place and the Giants in seventh.

But the Swans will hope that is where the similarities end.

The Giants humiliated the Swans as they won by 49 points at the SCG and kept the home team to only two goals until the dying minutes of the match.


Toby Greene added a spark to a dour first quarter when he sharked the ball from a throw-in deep in the Giants' forward line, but it still took a sharp snap over his shoulder to put the Giants in front for the first time.

Sydney's Dane Rampe and GWS' Toby Greene contest a loose ball during the 2018 elimination final. Picture: AFL Photos


With the margin only eight points as the match approached half-time Harry Himmelberg slid on the ground to trap a long bomb from Zac Williams. After Aliir Aliir chose to leap over him instead of tackle, Himmelberg sprung up and kicked a goal to stretch the Giants' lead.

The key forward later left an impression on Swans defender Nic Newman with a fair bump in the final term that led to a Callan Ward goal and the first nail in the coffin.

00:28 Mins
Published on

Brilliant Himmelberg punishes Swan

Giant Harry Himmelberg beats Sydney's Aliir Aliir to slot a great goal

Published on


It was party time for the Giants late in the game and Toby Greene was looking to cap a stellar but typically niggly performance with a fourth goal. As a long kick sailed towards Greene he raised his foot to hold Newman out of the marking contest with his boot and studs up.

Despite Newman and Aliir's protests, and much to Jeremy Cameron's amusement, the umpire paid the mark. Greene missed the shot on goal but the technique inspired a rule change after the season ended.

00:31 Mins
Published on

Should this be allowed?

The umpire paid this a legal mark despite Giant Toby Greene sticking his foot into his Swan opponent

Published on


Franklin had kicked five goals in the teams' round 22 meeting but Phil Davis blanketed the Swans superstar in the much-anticipated re-match. Buddy may have been hampered by a hip problem but finished the match without a goal as Davis often led him to the ball in a dominant display.

06:29 Mins
Published on

Highlights: Sydney v GWS

The Swans and Giants clash in the second elimination final

Published on