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Timely turnarounds

Brett Kirk tries to get a kick away as Rhyce Shaw, in his former colours, applies the pressure in Round 13, 2004.

As the saying goes, ‘a week is a long time in football’ and the best thing about football is teams don’t have to wait long for a chance to bounce back.

We have to go back 17 years to find a worse defeat than Saturday night’s loss to Hawthorn – it came against St. Kilda in the form a painful 101-point loss in 1998.

In the Swans case, redemption comes in the form of West Coast at Domain Stadium on Sunday. To mark the encounter, Sydney Swans Media has unearthed some of the Club’s best form reversals in recent years.

From rock bottom to flying high, the Swans have made a habit of turning it all around and in a big way.

Round 20 and Round 21, 1984

How timely that we start with a loss to Hawthorn, an 89-point loss to be exact, the same damage inflicted less than a week ago.

The Hawks, who would later feature in the grand final, would smash a stunned home side in front of 8,276 at the SCG with Leigh Matthews kicking six goals.

Exactly seven days later, at the same venue, the Swans found some solace by smashing then favourites and eventual premier Essendon by 57 points.

Warwick Capper and Tony Morwood (four goals each) starred in a match aptly described by Channel Seven commentator Lou Richards: “They’ve had a nice old bath here today, the Bombers.”

Dermott Brereton (left) and Simon Minton-Connell celebrate in the rooms following the Swans' Round 9 win against Melbourne in 1994.

Round 8 and Round 9, 1994

The Swans were battling through one of the darkest periods in the Club’s history, having won the previous two wooden spoons with the shadow of a third hanging overhead.

A capitulation at the hands of Geelong in Round 8 was the team’s sixth of what would be 18 defeats for the season.

The following week, against the Melbourne Demons who had won five out of seven matches to that point, Sydney pulled off a thrilling nine-point miracle at the MCG.

Jayson Daniels led the charge with 30 disposals while Simon Minton-Connell and Dale Lewis booted four goals apiece in the upset.

The Swans would go on to win only two more games for the season but could take something away from beating a finals bound team.

Tony Lockett kicks for goal against Collingwood in Round 9, 1997.

Round 8 and Round 9, 1997

In 1997, Sydney finished with one of the worst interstate records having won only three from 11 matches on the road. One of those defeats came in Round 8 at the hands of Adelaide at Football Park.

Despite the heroics of Paul Kelly, who gathered a season-high 37 possessions, the Swans were downed by 89 points.

But the Swans didn’t have to wait long before bouncing back emphatically, recording what’s in the history books as one of the Club’s biggest form reversals.

Against Collingwood at the SCG, the last match played between the two sides at the Moore Park precinct, Sydney managed a 126-point turnaround to run out 111-74 victors in front of 39,780 fans.


Essendon's Matthew Lloyd flies for a mark over Swans defenders Daryn Cresswell and Andrew Dunkley in Round 3, 1999.

Round 3 and Round 4, 1999

Essendon full-forward Matthew Lloyd single-handedly flattened Sydney with 13 goals as the Bombers ran out emphatic 81-point winners at the MCG.

The hefty loss was Sydney’s third on the trot, spelling a disastrous start to season 1999 in what was Rodney Eade’s third year as head coach.

What much of the football world didn’t see coming was an uphill climb which elevated the Swans from cellar dwellers to finals contenders.

The turnaround was sparked by a hard-fought two-point triumph over eventual premier in North Melbourne, just before the Roos enjoyed a golden run of 19 wins from 21 matches including the Roos’ second flag in four years.

Adam Goodes celebrates a goal in the Swans' Round 13 win over Collingwood in 2004.

Round 12 and Round 13, 2004

The Swans travelled interstate to take on Port Adelaide at the then named Football Park only to return with a 72-point loss and feathers ruffled.

The visitors may have been taught a lesson by who we know now as the 2004 premiers in the Power but were not to be deterred, hitting back against Collingwood the following weekend.

Barry Hall, Michael O’Loughlin and Ryan O’Keefe booted three goals each in the six-point thriller at Telstra Stadium (ANZ Stadium).

The Swans would go on to reach week two of finals before bowing out, leaving supporters with much to look forward to in 2005.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs