AND THEN there were six.
The last time men, women and children jumped the fence and chased down a Sydney superstar was when Tony Lockett booted his 1300th goal at the SCG on June 6, 1999.
Nearly 23 years later, there was a feeling of déjà vu inside the same venue. Different milestone, different time of day. Similar level of magic, similar level of significance.
SWANS v CATS Full match coverage and stats
The four points were almost a bonus for Sydney supporters. They were here for only one reason. They wanted history, and they got it when Lance Franklin booted his 1000th goal.
After weeks of forensic focus, the four-time Coleman Medal winner etched his name in history by becoming only the sixth man in the history of the game to reach 1000 goals, joining Tony Lockett (1360 goals), Gordon Coventry (1299), Jason Dunstall (1254), Doug Wade (1057) and Gary Ablett (1031) in a stratosphere that someone might not reach again.
Under the bright lights of Friday night football, the 35-year-old delivered yet another box office role to steal the spotlight away from another outstanding performance by John Longmire's team.
The result was almost secondary to the outcome, but it made a special night even sweeter for Sydney. The Swans made it two from two by dispatching a disappointing Geelong outfit by 30 points to record a 17.5 (107) to 10.17 (77) victory.
EPIC PICS All the best snaps from Buddy's night
Everyone inside the SCG was on Buddy watch from the opening quarter. Everyone, that is, except for his teammates, who couldn’t find him until 21 minutes into the game. But once he touched the Sherrin for the first time, he quickly found a bit of it, slotting his first goal from a tight angle set shot just before quarter-time. The hunt had a pulse.
A week after shocking Essendon with a first-half blitz so deadly the Bombers are still feeling it five sleeps later, it was Geelong's turn to be stung. Sydney produced a seven-minute burst early in the second quarter that banked four consecutive goals to open up a 28-point lead. And they never looked back. They kicked seven for the quarter, but unfortunately for those keeping one eye on the record books, not one was off Franklin's famous left boot.
The forecast for torrential rain almost never arrived, but just when Franklin needed another favour, the football gods delivered. The two-time premiership spearhead received a dubious free kick after young Cat Jack Henry fell in his back and Franklin did the rest. Moments later a pack of security guards filtered around the boundary. Only six to start with, but more would come after he slotted his third late in the third.
From there, it felt imminent. Everything Franklin did generated a standing ovation, even when he stood up off the massage table early in the final quarter. They howled when three Swans came to the bench at once and Franklin didn’t rotate back onto the ground. And rose moments later when he did return.
And then it happened.
Before the ball had even left Franklin's boot, hundreds of fans were over the fence and less than 20 metres away from the great man by the time it sailed through for his fourth. Chaos ensued in a moment we may never see again.
It took 36 minutes for play to resume, and if you believe in the football gods, then the sight of pouring rain tumbling down just as the players ran back onto the ground for the final six minutes was a sign from above.
A night the game will never forget, by a player the game will never forget.
Heeney on the cusp of the next bracket
Three weeks after putting his future to bed by inking a mega six-year extension, Isaac Heeney continued his ascension into the elite bracket. After kicking three goals in round one, Heeney exploded at the SCG. He booted four goals in the opening half, then added one more to go with 21 disposals. It might have all been about the man in the No. 23 guernsey, but this guy is well and truly on his way to superstardom.
Six days after departing the MCG in an ambulance, Jeremy Cameron returned at the SCG on Friday night following a week where his every move was monitored. The Coleman Medal winner was cleared of internal damage and discharged from hospital last Saturday night and made an impact in a game where most of the Cats' best players were below their best. Cameron finished goalless, but the easier option was to stay at home until he was 100 per cent fit.
Paddy power another highlight
He had to wait 1352 days between matches, but only six days to do it all again. Paddy McCartin proved he could still play at the level last Saturday night, but this time he showed he has the tools to become a gun defender in the competition. McCartin took five intercept marks in the opening quarter alone, cutting the Cats to shreds with his precise right foot. The former No. 1 pick faded in the second half, but he looms as another unconventional recruit that could prove to be a shrewd move by Kinnear Beatson.
SYDNEY 4.3 11.3 15.4 17.5 (107)
GEELONG 2.4 6.7 8.13 10.17 (77)
Sydney: Heeney 5, Franklin 4, Hayward 3, Gulden 2, McLean, Mills, Rowbottom
Geelong: Close 4, Atkins, Duncan, Hawkins, Kolodjashnij, Parfitt, Tuohy
Sydney: Heeney, Mills, Gulden, Blakey, Warner, Franklin, Stephens
Geelong: Close, Selwood, Stewart, Smith
Sydney: Angus Sheldrick (unused)
Geelong: Quinton Narkle (unused)
Crowd: 36,578 at the SCG