Sydney 7.0 8.2 10.6 12.8 (80)
Geelong 1.1 3.2 6.6 11.8 (74)
It took a last-ditch roost from super-sub Andrejs Everitt, but the Swans clawed their way over the line in an important victory over Geelong at the SCG.
With just over a minute to go, Everitt, who replaced the underdone Adam Goodes, marked just inside 50 on a difficult angle. He ran around and slotted it straight through to regain the lead the Cats had somehow snatched moments earlier.
Geelong were frozen solid as Sydney won the clearances and burst through the middle of the ground, catching them off-guard and kicking goals as a result, capped off by a ripper of a goal on the run from Lewis Jetta.
It also repeated the recent trend of first-quarter dominance from the Swans.
They dominated clearances, tackles and overall intensity, led by Jude Bolton, Josh Kennedy and Kieren Jack, alongside the combination of Shane Mumford and Mike Pyke in the ruck.
However, it wasn’t the beginning of a thumping as was the expectation, as Geelong lifted their intensity, Joel Selwood, Paul Chapman and Jimmy Bartel made a higher impact on the contest.
Geelong overall were able to lift their game and this eventually resulted in them being able to win the last three quarters.
Their composure and clean footskills were also improved from the first quarter, in what looked like the start of a possible but unlikely comeback.
They slowly dragged the margin back, but inaccuracy at important times – Tom Hawkins kicked 1.3 from kicks that he would be expected to drill – cost them a serious chance to make real grounds on the Swans.
But they came hard in the last, kicking five of the first six goals and stealing the lead. It would forced the Swans into a desperate surge in response, one that the Cats tried their best to defend, but ultimately leading to Everitt’s dramatic matchwinner.
3 – Jude Bolton (Syd)
2 – Kieren Jack (Syd)
1 – Joel Selwood (Geel)
Sydney: McGlynn 2, Reid 2, Jack 2, Bolton, Armstrong, Jetta, Pyke, Kennedy, Everitt
Geelong: Podsiadly 2, Chapman 2, Motlop, Selwood, West, T.Hunt, J.Hunt, Enright, Hawkins
Sydney: Bolton, Jack, O’Keefe, Johnson, Kennedy, Shaw
Geelong: Selwood, Bartel, Chapman, Enright, Hunt, Kelly
Sydney: Adam Goodes replaced by Andrejs Everitt in the final quarter
Geelong: Dawson Simpson replaced by Allen Christensen in the third quarter
Umpires: Donlon, Margetts, McInerney
Official crowd:27,400 at SCG