Footy fix on AFL Friday: Swans and Tigers wear a classic despite controversy

Controversy seems to be at play nowadays – especially when it comes to free kicks.

But even though it was a lot in Sydney’s clash with Richmond – and we’ll hear a lot about it in the next few days – it was a very good game so the footy was not the main focus.

It was a cracking game of twists and turns between the two sides desperate to occupy those 5-8 places on the ladder by the end of the season. Both the Tiger and the Swan have flaws, for sure, but they play their best in high-octane, aggressive footy which results in a lot of momentum swing end-to-end action.

If you are still looking for a reason to love the game, this match provides whatever you want.

Lance Franklin’s evening response to the office probably tells us quite a bit about the imbalance of priorities around the modern footy landscape. It is unbelievable that a 35-year-old forward, who missed the entire 18 months of football in the very recent past, can still shape the outcome of the match right now.

Yet for many in the media, the big topic of discussion for the next 24 hours will be his case with Trent Cochin, where he may or may not have hit the former Tigers captain’s chin.

For this to be the story, and not his superhuman final quarter where the ball looks like he’s going to kick a goal every time he goes (he’ll end up with three for the duration), I’ll argue, one more problem. Than holding any off-the-ball free kick or stupid ball. If we can’t enjoy a high-scoring game like this, Warts and all, then maybe we don’t deserve more.

Franklin was great. After half time, there were swans too. Next week … let’s think about whether he’ll miss next week.

For most of the first half, it was Vintage Richmond at SCG. Unprecedented tackling pressure across the ground, a perfectly defensive defensive structure that suffocated the life of the Sydney forward and ruthlessly skilled with each offensive attack, they looked back at their triple flag winning best.

Closely violent, it spoke as loudly as veteran Shane Edwards and Trent Cochin; Toby Nankarvis was a Titan in rock, and Daniel Rioli and Nick Vlastuin are arbitrarily rebounding.

The Tigers’ first four goals all came from clearance, with Swann’s defense unable to adapt to the quick and precise Richmond entry. It could have been stronger if Tom Lynch had been able to identify; But the audience was more than eating at the ground level.

While Edwards, Hugo Ralph Smith and Maurice Rioli were in the thick of the action, Rioli’s majors – the two swans that came after a fierce tussle after the same high ball competition – symbolized their defensive chaos.

Franklin’s goal in the half-time stroke – moments after his collision with Cochin – was only for the swans. It will prove to be a sign of things to come. Pierce the bear at your own peril.

Lance Franklin is celebrating a goal.

Lance Franklin is celebrating a goal. (Dylan Burns / AFL photo via Getty Images)

The difference after half-time – after harsh words from assistant Don Pike, brought to the club for his offensive skills – was absolutely there. Much more than winning the ball in the coal face, moving the ball straight and stable in the end defense, it was a completely different swan.

The focal point was John Longmeyer’s bold move to turn Callum Mills into a defense. At the risk of deepening their center deficit, the change pays off immediately. When the ball hit the ground, the tigers swarmed, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming, swarming.

The state line doesn’t talk about its impact there, the Tigers suddenly couldn’t get the ball forward with hooks or crooks and Mills is sitting in the hole. They managed to score only one out of 50 in the whole second half, taking four in the first.

Chad Warner was just as influential in midfield; Quickly subdued, his electrical movements outside the center were worth watching halfway through. Regularly cut through the middle, his pace was a game-changer: in contrast, the Tigers had no one to do the same, Shy Bolton was far ahead.

And of course, at the end of it all was Franklin. Halfway through, with the help of Dylan Grimes and Vlastuin, young Josh Gibkas did a powerful job limiting the great man. Refusing to be hired one by one, he used his athleticism to give Buddy an inch of space, then closed the gap with a timely snatch.

But with more space in the second half, that strategy will begin to unfold. Franklin did not score more than 1000 goals without multiple tactics on his sleeve: Gibbous’s Kryptonite had the ability to hit hard on the ground and run backwards, finding open space.

As exciting as the first year, it will take him a few years to gain Alex Rance’s experience and defensive nuance. Buddy exploded as the Tigers’ defense fell around him.

Okay, now to the debate. Let’s start with the big one: Warner is pushing the ball away in the final siren, not realizing Prestia has been given a free kick.

Was it a 50 meter penalty? There is no doubt that you can make a serious case for this. But you often find that players immediately kick the ball away, paying a free fee. ‘Common sense’ was the call from the hand umpires; It’s a no-win situation for the amps the way they went. There is certainly some sympathy for the decision.

I think a 50m penalty for sounding the siren would have had a worse consequence. Warner, overwhelmed by the excitement of the thrilling win, responded by thinking the game was over: if he had known that a free payment had been made, there was no way he would have booted it and risked making the impossible possible for Dion Prestier. . This was also true of the siren: I have no doubt in my mind that he did not hear the flute, or assumed that it was for the whole time.

10 years ago? 50 every day of the week. But the game is no longer militant as the game continues after the flute. If it were paid, 50 per cent of the football world could hammer it anyway, as another example of umpires getting themselves into the game.

I am no less happy to tick the myriad of ‘forbidden communications’ incidents that have led to the release of another one. With 60 for the night, it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the Hawthorn-Brisbane game – but some free, especially for the lightest hurdle against Daniel Rioli in the third quarter – was certainly brilliant.

Do we want to see those free kicks? No. Is there any instruction from higher to try and stamp all unnecessary force contact outside the game? Clearly.

However, there is no denying that the big scorelines for both games – 106-100 tonight, 117-112 in Tasmania – have been brought in by some of the free numbers provided. Millions were paid in the 90’s, when scoring was at an all-time high, and people seem to look back on those years with enough fanfare.

Maybe this is the time for us to choose: either a high-scoring, electronic game like tonight that we can mutter. Or a game where the ampara whistle puts away and we end up with a distant scraper competition with repetitive rolling malls.

There will always be controversy in the AFL – there’s a lot more gray area, a lot more interest. However this game was a classic and I am willing to endure some controversy to get a better match like this.

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