THE PATH to 1000 for Lance Franklin has been marked by both his incredible consistency and his ability to explode on occasions with a breath-taking performance.
From his career-high 13 goals as a Hawk to the seven games in which he has walked away with a bag of eight, Franklin has threatened defenders with the prospect of a nightmare day ever since his second season.
In total, there have been 34 games in which Franklin has kicked six goals or more.
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There have been plenty of other missed opportunities, too, including eight games where the champion forward has had double-figure scoring shots but walked away with five goals or fewer.
We remember Buddy's biggest bags over a magnificent 318-game career, with the prospect of more nightmare days for defenders still to come.
13 goals: R10, 2012 v North Melbourne
Franklin was criticised in the build-up to this clash for his inaccuracy, kicking 21.36 for Hawthorn across the opening nine rounds, but the champion forward emerged at the ground now known as University of Tasmania Stadium to produce a magical performance reminiscent of a bygone era. After waiting until late in the first quarter to slot his first, Franklin got on a run to have six at half-time and he finished with a venue record 13.4 – the most at any venue since Scott Cummings' haul of 14 in 2000. After a 115-point defeat, opposition coach Brad Scott was simply left to marvel at one of the best individual displays he had ever seen.
10 goals: R23, 2017 v Carlton
Franklin's biggest haul as a Swan came as he secured the most dramatic Coleman Medal imaginable. Trailing West Coast champion Josh Kennedy by five goals going into the final round, Franklin booted 10.2, roving and snapping on his left to reach double figures with seven minutes to play in an 81-point win. It gave him a five-goal lead over Kennedy, who managed just one goal the following day, allowing Franklin to collect his fourth Coleman Medal, and second as a Swan.
9 goals: R6, 2007 v Essendon
Franklin has kicked more goals against Essendon (75 from 18 games) than any other club, escalating his brutal run against the club with a memorable 9.2 early in his third season. The young Hawk broke the game open with five unanswered goals in the second quarter to flip the game on its head and then finishing the job in the second half. It was Franklin's biggest bag at the time, and the second time in his career he collected three Brownlow votes, going on to do that three more times against Essendon.
9 goals: R11, 2008 v Essendon
The next of Franklin's best on ground performances against the Bombers came the next time he met them, slotting 9.5 against Matthew Knights' men and taking his season tally to 59 after 11 rounds. This was the Hawthorn superstar's 113-goal season, and the Bombers played their part, with Dustin Fletcher and Paddy Ryder powerless to stop Franklin, who was at the peak of his powers.
9 goals: R21, 2014 v St Kilda
The second biggest haul during Franklin's time as a Swan came in his 200th game, celebrating the milestone with a magnificent 9.4 in a record 71-point win against St Kilda. He took an incredible 13 marks inside 50, which eclipsed the Saints' eight and remains a career-high, with five of those contested. He could afford a laugh late in the game after his attempt to reach double figures sailed out on the full.
8 goals: R5, 2008 v Brisbane
The first of seven eight-goal bags for Franklin across his career came early in his 113-goal season, propelling the Hawks to their first win at the Gabba since 2000. The superstar called on all of his tricks, booting one of his majors on the run from the edge of the centre square, crumbing and snapping on his left boot deep in the pocket for another, and converting a seemingly impossible set shot from hard up against the boundary line. The match itself was full of highlights and Franklin's magic proved critical, with the Hawks winning by 12 points.
8 goals: R18, 2008 v Collingwood
The next of Franklin's big bags in his career-best season came at the expense of the Magpies. As he did so often in his time at the Hawks, Franklin combined brilliantly with Jarryd Roughead, with the powerful pair sharing eight goals in the first three quarters before Franklin exploded late. With five minutes to play, he added three more, including two from long range in an unstoppable burst that added the exclamation mark to a 54-point win at the MCG.
8 goals: QF, 2008 v Western Bulldogs
The biggest goal tally for Franklin in a final came on the path to the 2008 premiership in a 51-point flogging of the Bulldogs in a qualifying final. Teammate Campbell Brown later recalled how Franklin had read a newspaper article that morning quoting Bulldogs' defender Dale Morris, who said he didn't fear Franklin. Apparently "disgusted" by the article, Franklin told Brown "I'll drop eight on him today". Sure enough, the towering Hawk booted 8.2 and took six marks inside 50 in a dominant performance at the MCG.
8 goals: R7, 2017 v Brisbane
With his team 0-6 and staring at a wasted season, Franklin took it upon himself to resurrect the Swans. The champion forward, in his fourth season with the Swans and coming off a Grand Final defeat the year prior, made a massive statement and spearheaded a memorable run to the finals that eventually saw the Swans bow out in a semi-final loss to Geelong. It all started with Buddy's bag against the Lions.
8 goals: R1, 2018 v West Coast
One of the greatest Australian football players to come out of Western Australia, it was fitting that Franklin helped open Optus Stadium in round one, 2018. Unfortunately for West Coast, he recognised the occasion and lifted for it, as he so often does. His 8.1 spoiled the party in Perth's glitzy new venue and drove a 29-point win for his team, with Franklin also gathering 21 disposals and nine marks on a memorable day. It was one of his seven bags of eight, with others coming against Port Adelaide in 2011, and Essendon in 2013.