Main content

Talking Points - Round 13

Ben Collins,  June 17, 2017 5:05 PM

Second time's a charm Lance Franklin misses the set-shot but mops up with a brilliant one-step goal during the second quarter of Saturday's clash at the MCG.
Lance Franklin and Alex Rance tangle at the MCG on Saturday.

Lance Franklin and Alex Rance tangle at the MCG on Saturday.

1. Lance v Rance doesn't disappoint
It was billed as the clash of the titans, the AFL's best forward against and the best defender, and it was an enthralling battle, but maybe the biggest talking point from the Lance Franklin v Alex Rance duel was the Swan's report for rough conduct. Franklin appears to be in trouble after delivering a high bump on Tiger Connor Menadue, who'd bent down to gather the ball. At the very least there will be fines for the Franklin-focused melee that followed. It was a tough afternoon for Buddy, who last year tallied 12.4 in two outings against Rance and the Tigers. This time Rance kept a tight leash on the great Swan - from limited opportunities, Franklin managed just 1.1 after a superb effort from the Richmond backman. But Buddy would cop such limited impact in a comeback win like this any day.

2. Swans keep their season alive while questions remain about Tigers
In their previous clash at the SCG in round 23 last year, at one stage Sydney led 21 goals to one, so this contest was a complete contrast. Five minutes into the second quarter Richmond led 6.3 to 0.4 before Franklin finally nailed the Swans' first goal. In front of 58,721 fans – a record home-and-away crowd between the clubs – Sydney trailed by as much as 36 points, but piled on eight of the last nine goals to stun the Tigers. After a disastrous 0-6 start, the Swans are now just a game outside the top eight, while the Tigers squandered another opportunity to consolidate a position in the top four. 

3. Umpire error costs Swans crucial goal
Midway through the last quarter, with a fast-finishing Sydney clawing back to within three points, a free kick was incorrectly awarded against Franklin for a centre-square infringement. The Swans had just three players inside the centre square when Franklin legally ran into the square before the umpire bounced the ball. However he was penalised – and the Tigers took the ball forward and Jack Riewoldt converted with a magnificent long-range set shot from the boundary. Thankfully the decision didn't cost the Swans the game.

4. Bolton a Rising Star candidate
If you were told pre-match that an indigenous forward would light up the MCG in the first quarter with breathtaking speed and skill, you'd expect it to be Franklin or Richmond prodigy Daniel Rioli. So it was something to behold when lightly-built Tiger Shai Bolton announced himself on the big stage with two brilliant early goals that were reminiscent of Rioli's uncle Cyril at his best. Nine minutes in, the West Australian teenager roved a pack at full tilt, took a bounce and converted. Late in the term, he burst clear again to nail another one from close range. The No.29 pick in last year's NAB AFL Draft would be stiff not to be nominated this week for the Rising Star award.

5. Nank the Tank's first clash with Swans mates
As Richmond dominated early and Toby Nankervis served it up to former teammates Sam Naismith and Callum Sinclair, Wayne Carey suggested on radio Triple M that his old teammate, Swans coach John Longmire, might be ruing releasing the wrong ruckman. Nankervis was beaten in the hitouts but largely nullified the big Swans' effectiveness, particularly in the first half, and caused spillages that enabled the Tigers' running brigade to break away. The 22-year-old would have had a bigger impact in his 23rd AFL game had he not missed two regulation set shots – the first after the quarter-time siren from 30 metres, and the other from 40 metres early in the last quarter.