AFL GRAND FINAL – SYDNEY SWANS v WESTERN BULLDOGS
Welcome to the 2016 AFL Grand Final between the Minor Premiers Sydney Swans against the seventh placed Western Bulldogs where they have been the underdogs throughout this semi final series, beating West Coast in Perth in the first week, second week of the final’s series they upset last year’s premiers Hawthorn at the MCG, then travelling to Sydney to beat GWS in their own backyard. Can they do the unthinkable and beat the Sydney Swans at the MCG to bring home there first flag for there club and loyal supporters since 1955.
SYDNEY SWANS v WESTERN BULLDOGS
Grand Final – Saturday 1st October, 2.30pm, MCG
So here we are – the first day of October with the game’s biggest prize up for grabs. It doesn’t get any better, especially with two vastly contrasting storylines. In the red and white corner we have the Sydney Swans, an ultra-professional outfit chasing their second title in five years under the guidance of John Longmire. Their brutal first-quarter demolition of Geelong in the preliminary final was a statement of epic proportions. Standing in their way are the courageous Western Bulldogs, who have come from seventh on the ladder in their quest to win their first flag since 1955. It’s been a remarkable finals series for Luke Beveridge’s men who now seriously believe they can achieve the impossible after their stirring six-point victory over Greater Western Sydney. This has all the makings of one of the truly great Grand Finals.
“You’ve got to make sure you don’t play the game over and over (in your head)” – Luke Beveridge on the Grand Final
Round 15: Western Bulldogs 13.5 (83) d Sydney Swans 11.13 (79) at the SCG
In his first game since round four, Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen lived every footballer’s dream with a match-winning goal in the dying seconds. Johannisen showed nerves of steel to kick the set shot from 45m out directly in front to seal the four-point victory. The Bulldogs prevailed in one of the games of the season behind big games from Matthew Boyd, Lachie Hunter and Marcus Bontempelli, while Swans spearhead Lance Franklin kicked five goals for the hosts.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R15, 2016, Western Bulldogs 13.5 (83) d Sydney Swans 11.13 (79) at the SCG
R5, 2015, Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77) d Sydney Swans 10.13 (73) at the SCG
R22, 2014, Sydney Swans 20.10 (130) d Western Bulldogs 9.13 (67) at Etihad Stadium
R19, 2013, Sydney Swans 21.8 (134) d Western Bulldogs 15.9 (99) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2012, Sydney Swans 26.11 (167) d Western Bulldogs 13.7 (85) at Etihad Stadium
WHAT THE COACHES SAY
John Longmire: “(The Bulldogs have) been fantastic. If you look at their three finals games, they’ve beaten last year’s Grand Finalists on their home deck in Perth. Then they’ve come back and beaten the team (Hawthorn) that’s won the last three premierships at the MCG, then GWS on their home ground. It’s as solid as there is. I think them finishing seventh was a bit unusual because they won 15 games for the year, and their finals series has been outstanding.”
Luke Beveridge: “You’ve got to make sure you don’t play the game over and over (in your head). It’s a bit of a broken record, but really it is the best advice. Ultimately, every final is more important than the home and away games, but if you stray from what you know, you’re in a bit of strife. There’ll be a lot of exciting things going on during the week, but I think they’re such a new-age sort of bunch, I think they’ll really enjoy it and take it in their stride.”
SPORTSBET BETTING: SYDNEY SWANS $1.60 – WESTERN BULLDOGS $2.40
OUR TIP: SYDNEY SWANS by 25
Here are our best plays for this year’s Grand Final.
Tri Bet 24.5pts
FIRST GOAL SCORER
SWANS: KURT TIPPETT – $15.00
BULLDOGS: CLAY SMITH – $18.00
NORM SMITH MEDAL WINNER
DAN HANNEBERY – $8.00
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