Buddy on early
The Swans ran through their banner and lined up for the team photo in a moment that is typically an anxious time for players. They've heard the roar of the crowd and want the game to start as quickly as possible. Lance Franklin is a different man though, and deals with pressure like few others. While the rest of his teammates assembled on or behind a wooden bench to allow the photographer to capture the moment, Franklin took a casual shot at goal and slotted it from 45m. His calmness loomed as a worrying sign for Dogs fans that the champion forward could have his way on the game's biggest day.
The Swans booted the ball into the forward line in the direction of Lance Franklin, who was matched up on Joel Hamling. Shane Biggs was coming across providing defensive support. Those opponents were of no concern to big Bud. He held Hamling off while the ball flew just above the fingertips of Biggs. Franklin took the mark and kept his arm aloft so everyone in the ground knew he had control of the ball, and then gave it a little twirl to ensure everyone knew the footy was his.
Swans started strong but couldn't convert
John Longmire would have been happy with how his men began the contest. The Swans' first quarters were impressive in their past two matches against Geelong and Adelaide, and again it looked like they were off to a great start. It was a scrappy opening but the Swans eventually found their groove and bossed the contests. The problem for the team that had been to the 2014 decider and won the flag in 2012 was it could not hit the scoreboard. Co-captain Kieren Jack was the first offender – he was brilliant in holding onto a courageous mark despite a heavy collision with his opposing skipper Easton Wood, but his set shot hooked late and missed. The Dogs' defence hung firm and they were able to go into the first break with a lead.
A costly error from Mitchell
Every mistake is analysed in a tight game, sometimes perhaps unfairly so. Tom Mitchell was fantastic in the Grand Final but he erred in his decision-making at one stage in the second quarter. The Swans had just rushed a behind and the ensuing kick out went up the guts to Mitchell. The Bulldogs had been caught on the hop and Mitchell had teammate Ben McGlynn on in the middle, and in space. Taking that option would likely have resulted in a Swans score but Mitchell instead chose a different option, further away from the centre of the ground. The Dogs forced a turnover and Liam Picken snapped a goal to give his side a 16-point lead. In fairness, Mitchell made up for his mistake a couple of minutes later when he booted a goal from a step outside the 50m arc.
Daw's tribute to Boomer
The moment for North Melbourne fans on Saturday was the Grand Final sprint. Majak Daw, the man who will accept much more responsibility in the forward line in the absence of the Drew Petrie next season, was looking to win back-to-back crowns. He stepped out in the jumper the Kangaroos wore for Brent Harvey's record-breaking 427th game as a tribute to the Arden Street champion. Alas, he wasn't able to win the race, with amateur hero James Shirley, of the Murrumbeena Football Netball Club, overtaking Daw about halfway through the race and holding on for the win.
Swans botch centre square structure
Lance Franklin had just kicked a goal from the pocket to bring the Swans within a point of the Dogs, and there was some sense that the more experienced team could run away with the win. What followed was an unorganised display from a team many observers consider the most professional in the AFL. Dan Hannebery went to the forward line and the Swans were caught one player short in the centre square. While the Swans eventually brought someone in to make up the numbers, it was a mistake rarely seen from this outfit. The Swans lost the centre clearance and it was only thanks to Nick Smith's intercept mark in the backline that they didn't concede a goal.
Boyd gets first laugh in million-dollar battle with Buddy
The 2016 Grand Final could be the last time the Tom Boyd contract is talked about as a bust. He was traded to the club at the end of 2014 and given a multi-million dollar seven-year deal despite having played just nine games in his first season. It would scarcely have been possible to imagine at that point that he would win a flag before Lance Franklin, who left Hawthorn for the Swans at the end of 2013 for a nine-year contract, won his first at his new club. But Boyd managed the feat, and in brilliant fashion too. His work around the ground was excellent, and the 21-year-old finished with six contested marks and three goals, including a beauty from the centre square with about five minutes left to give his side a 15-point buffer. Dare we say it, it was Buddy-esque.
Stringer passes again
Just minutes remained in the match. The Bulldogs were up by 15 points and were within reach of a historic premiership but needed to show composure to ensure it didn't slip out of their grasp. Jake Stringer had the ball in a forward pocket and was running in to goal. He's a man who doesn't often pass up a chance to hit the scoreboard, but similar to last week against GWS when he hit Tory Dickson late in a close game, Stringer went to the top of the square where Liam Picken was in a one-on-one. Picken didn't mark but would kick the goal to put the Dogs 21 points up, and from there Dogs fans could celebrate the club's second flag.
Murphy wears his pride
Robert Murphy was the fallen skipper, injured in round three after a ruptured ACL and forced to watch on as his teammates broke the famous 62-year flag drought. After coach Luke Beveridge handed his own premiership medal to Murphy, the captain walked around the ground and revealed his playing jumper underneath his Western Bulldogs jacket. The fans were delighted to see that the inspirational skipper was on the ground and in his gear. That came after he joined the group at training on Thursday, much to the delight of the Dogs faithful.
Dogs faithful party into the night
It was a joyous night for Bulldogs fans and they were able to celebrate at the post-match concert from Vance Joy and The Living End, before their premiership heroes were presented in front of a welcoming crowd. The supporters were then led through a rendition of 'Sons of the West'. Before the game, international superstar Sting overcame a shaky start to eventually nail his renditions of 'I Can't Stop Thinking About You', 'Message in a Bottle' and 'Every Breath You Take'. Dogs supporters slightly shaded Swans fans in quantity but they both turned up to the ground in tens of thousands, with the ground split into segments of red and white alone, and red, white and blue. The Swans ensured they were heard in the second term when they sent up a chant of 'Sydney' despite trailing by four points. However, it was the Bulldogs who will party long into the night after their first premiership in since 1954.