1. Toby in trouble as he bumps an ump
Toby Greene starred in the first half with three goals to the main break but lost a bit of momentum and his cool when he had a head full of steam in the third term. The superstar forward gave away a couple of silly free kicks and was having more of an impact on his verbal stoush with the Swans’ Justin McInerney than on the match. Greene had his biggest brainfade of the day while walking to the three-quarter time huddle when he made contact with Matt Stevic in what was almost a bump on the ump and is sure to be looked at closely by the MRO.
SWANS v GIANTS Full match coverage and stats
2. All-Australian forwards off to a flyer
Toby Greene and Tom Papley filled the forward pockets in this year’s Therabody AFL All-Australian team and a couple of days later shared the spotlight in an elimination final. Papley kicked the opening goal and celebrated typically hard until running into a brick wall in Shane Mumford, then Greene countered by kicking the next two majors of the match. Both were lively early but only Greene made the most of his chances, kicking 3.1 to half-time while the Swans’ small forward couldn’t hit the scoreboard again, despite three more shots on goal before the main break. Papley ended with two goals while Greene kicked three in a typically feisty display.
3. Swans leave their run too late
Sydney has built its success off blistering ball movement, so it was no surprise to see GWS try to limit the Swans’ transitions from defence to attack. Lachie Ash locked down on Jordan Dawson while seasoned tagger Matt de Boer spent much of the match at half-forward keeping a close eye on Jake Lloyd, especially when the Swans had the ball in their back half. Lloyd has averaged 28 disposals and seven defensive rebounds this season but was restricted to just six disposals and no rebounds to half-time. The 27-year-old was able to get off the chain in the second half to end with 20 touches and six rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overrun the Giants.
4. Hogan a hero in his first final
It took Jesse Hogan until his 99th match and the eighth season of a rollercoaster career to play in a final but he made it worth the wait. The Giants’ key forward was a threat throughout and claimed a career-high six contested marks while also kicking two goals. He threatened to blow the game apart in the third term with five marks and three shots on goal, but couldn’t quite capitalise as he hit the post twice. He kicked a goal after the three-quarter time siren to give the Giants a 19-point lead at the final change, which proved to be just enough against the fast-finishing Swans.
5. Lloyd sidefoots a smart goal
The Giants have been the fourth-best team at scoring from stoppage, but it still looked too simple when three of their first six goals came from throw-ins deep inside their forward line. Immediately after the third of those, kicked by Harry Himmelberg, the Giants broke from the centre bounce with Callan Ward getting on the end of a chain to kick long to Himmelberg and Tom McCartin in the goalsquare. As the ball came off hands, Daniel Lloyd led the players charging in but slowed just enough to compose himself and sidefoot the ball before it bounced for the craftiest of the Giants’ four goals from stoppage in the first half.