Buddy Franklin in sorry 10-year first as Sydney Swans AFL woes worsen
The moment of madness typified the current plight for the Sydney Swans champion.
The problems are mounting for the injury-hit Sydney Swans after suffering a fourth straight defeat in a 16.7 (103) to 13.8 (86) loss to Fremantle on Saturday. It was another game to forget for Sydney and veteran forward Buddy Franklin, whose worrying AFL form slump was summed up by one particularly embarrassing moment.
Franklin has struggled for form this season and finished the game without kicking a goal for the second match in a row. Incredibly, it's the first time since the champion forward moved to Sydney at the end of 2013 that he has gone goalless in consecutive games.
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That really should not have been the case for Franklin but a moment of madness in the third quarter summed up his and Sydney's current plight. The two-time premiership winner was paid a mark in the goal square, presenting him with what should have bene an easy set shot from right in front.
Bizarrely though, Buddy opted to play on with Dockers players in close proximity, with Fremantle's Luke Ryan pouncing on the brain fade from the Swans star. Ryan tackled Franklin to the ground, causing the ball to spill from the. Sydney star's grasp before Freo were awarded a holding the ball free kick for good measure.
Fox Footy commentator Leigh Montagna summed up the thoughts of viewers after exclaiming: “What’s he doing? Bud! He just got too excited. He had no need to play on from two metres out. He hasn’t done that in 347 games of football.” Dermott Brereton added: “It’s almost like he lost himself.”
"Oh Buddy! What's he doing?" - Franklin has a brain fade and it's a disastrous turnover.
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Fremantle sink the boot into struggling Swans
The incident typified the present predicament at Sydney, whose injury crisis also worsened with Callum Mills exiting with a calf injury in the first quarter and key forward Logan McDonald limping off with a left leg complaint. Hayden McLean was also restricted by a calf problem but played out the match.
Freo talls Luke Jackson and Sean Darcy combined to propel Fremantle to the 17-point that sees the Dockers leapfrog Sydney into 12th on the ladder. The loss leaves Sydney languishing in 14th spot.
Jackson gave the Dockers a glimpse of his talents against Hawthorn last week and put in another strong showing for Fremantle. The prized recruit booted three goals and hauled in three strong contested marks to stand out when the game was on the line early and help set up the Dockers' first win at the SCG since 2011.
While Jackson threatened whether roaming close to goal or pinch-hitting in the ruck, Darcy did the damage around the stoppages with 44 hitouts and an equal-game-high nine clearances. "That's back-to-back weeks where they've both been really solid," Dockers coach Justin Longmuir said.
"Sean was dominant in the ruck, especially early, gave us ascendancy at ground level, and Luke was just feeling it down forward." Goal sneak Lachie Schultz slotted four majors for the Dockers, while Caleb Serong (33 disposals), Andrew Brayshaw (31) and Jaeger O'Meara (27) made the most of the visitors' advantage in the ruck.
The Dockers' former skipper Nat Fyfe started as the substitute for the second consecutive week and entered the contest at the final change, taking some time to catch up to the speed of the game before finishing with six touches. The Swans face an away trip to North Melbourne next Saturday, while Fremantle host reigning premiers Geelong later in the day.
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