The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - MCG

IT’S of­fi­cial, the Swans are back in fi­nals con­tention.

An epic come-from-be­hind nine-point tri­umph over Rich­mond at the MCG lifted Syd­ney just one win out­side the eight with nine matches left be­fore the fi­nals.

It was only the sec­ond time in the last 75 years the Swans have come back from 25 points or more down at half­time to win.

Six weeks ago they looked dead and buried at 0-6 but the Swans have won five of their last six to re­vive their sea­son.

They also looked gone against the Tigers when they trailed by six goals mid­way through the sec­ond term and by 25 points at the main break. They kicked eight of the last nine goals of the match to swamp the Tigers, who have lost four matches this year af­ter lead­ing in the last quar­ter.

“We know we haven’t got much wrig­gle room,” Swans coach John Long­mire said.

“The players know it, the coaches know it, and we know we have to bring our max­i­mum ef­fort ev­ery week. To our credit af­ter not bring­ing it the first half we were able to turn that around which should give the players real confidence to be able to do that dur­ing the course of the game.”

Kieren Jack snapped the goal which put the Swans in front with six min­utes left, be­fore Gary Ro­han booted the sealer with just sec­onds re­main­ing.

Rich­mond had plenty of chances but poor kick­ing for goal cost them dearly. For­mer Swan Toby Nankervis missed a sit­ter from straight in front in the last quar­ter which would have set­tled the Tigers as they were run­ning out of puff.

The only down­side for Syd­ney was star for­ward Lance Franklin be­ing re­ported for rough play dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter.

In an act of frus­tra­tion, he bumped Rich­mond’s Con­nor Me­nadue high. There ap­peared to be some con­tact with his head but the brunt of the force was taken on Me­nadue’s shoul­der.

It was clearly a dan­ger­ous piece of play from Franklin but Me­nadue re­cov­ered quickly and didn’t re­quire any treat­ment. “I didn’t even know he got re­ported,” Long­mire said. “The bloke got up, didn’t he, just after­wards. I can’t com­ment if he got re­ported, I didn’t even know he got re­ported.”

The first Tiger to re­mon­strate with Franklin af­ter the in­ci­dent was Alex Rance, who had a host of tan­gles with Franklin dur­ing the match. Last year Buddy kicked 13 goals in two games against Rich­mond but Rance held sway yes­ter­day, hold­ing Franklin to one goal.

“Rance is a re­ally good player,” Long­mire said. “He very rarely loses one-on-one con­tests, he’s as good as there is go­ing around at the mo­ment as far as a key de­fender.”

Dan Han­nebery and Josh Kennedy were quiet in the first half but were enor­mous in the sec­ond. Zac Jones was also lively for the whole match and con­tin­ues to de­velop into a qual­ity mid­fielder. Jake Lloyd found plenty of the ball as well.

Sam Reid con­tin­ued his out­stand­ing come­back sea­son with 10 marks and young de­fender Nic New­man played his best game for the club.

Kieren Jack cel­e­brates putting the Syd­ney Swans ahead. Pic­ture: Ge­orge Salpig­tidis

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