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NEAFL: Swans book place in Grand Final

Zachary Gates  September 8, 2018 2:32 PM

Gary Rohan celebrates one of his three goals against Canberra on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Rohan celebrates one of his three goals against Canberra on Saturday afternoon.

The Sydney Swans have stormed over the top of Canberra with a big third term to book their ticket to the Grand Final, piling on seven goals to the Demons’ one en route to a 56-point win at Blacktown International Sportspark. 

Lively forward James Rose broke the preliminary final open with two goals in a minute early in the quarter, before a flurry of majors followed to set up an 18.10 (118) to 8.14 (62) victory.

Ruckman Darcy Cameron was among the best, collecting 23 disposals, 40 hit-outs, 11 marks and three goals as the Swans secured a third-straight grand final berth. 

They will face the winner of the Southport Sharks and Aspley Hornets in Saturday afternoon’s first preliminary final in the Grand Final next Sunday.

Sydney lost to GWS in the 2016 Grand Final, fell to the Brisbane Lions in last year’s big dance and has set its sights on claiming its first NEAFL premiership next week.

Rose tallied 31 touches and two goals in Saturday’s clash with the Demons, Colin O’Riordan (25 possessions), Harry Marsh (26) and Jack Maibaum (26 disposals, one goal) were prominent in defence and midfielder Jake Brown recorded 21 touches and a goal.

Speedsters Gary Rohan (14 possessions) and James Bell (12) kicked three goals each, while a number of QBE Sydney Swans Academy stars stood tall on the big stage themselves.

Academy forward Sam Wicks gathered 17 disposals and a pair of six-pointers, including a trademark goal-sneak’s snap from congestion as the Swans powered away in the third stanza.

The Swans led from siren to siren, booting four goals to the Demons’ one in the first term to take a 19-point buffer into quarter-time and keeping the foot on the pedal.

Canberra rallied with four goals in the second quarter but Sydney would match the NEAFL’s newest side, posting four majors of its own on its way to a 16-point lead at the long break.

The Swans’ seven-goal-to-one third term would follow, before they rounded out the win with three majors to the Demons’ two in the final quarter.

Young gun Ryley Stoddart reeled in 16 disposals and a goal and troubled Canberra with his pace, while the Academy’s Bailey Stewart (17 touches) was another shining light.

Draft-bound youngster Josh Stern and the towering Hamish Ellem also hit the scoreboard in a sign of the tremendous work in place at the Academy. 

Sydney Swans 4.2 8.3 15.8 18.10 (118)
Canberra Demons 1.1 5.5 6.8 8.14 (62)

Goals – Sydney Swans: D Cameron 3, J Bell 3, G Rohan 3, J Rose 2, S Wicks 2, J Brown, R Stoddart, J Maibaum, H Ellem, J Stern

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