It wasn't over after the first quarter. Except that it was. The Sydney Swans kicked the first six goals of the game and were never threatened by Geelong, always keeping them at arm's reach in a dominant preliminary final win.
"Sometimes it gets late early out there," the great American baseball player and coach Yogi Berra once famously said, and this was the story of this match.
The Swans won 90-67, in an almost identical score to the 98-60 scoreline by which the Swans defeated the Cats earlier this season, and will now go on to meet the winner of Saturday evening's GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs match in the AFL grand final next Saturday.
The Swans were fantastic. Where do you look to name the players who played well? Might as well run your finger down the whole team list, but special mentions go to Isaac Heeney -- the 20-year-old in just his second season of senior footy -- and Gary Rohan, whose speedy and hefty body gave Geelong nightmares. That, after he looked to have suffered a season-ending injury last week against the Adelaide Crows.
"He doesn't need much of the ball to be influential," was the coach's assessment of Rohan.
This was devastating for Geelong. They have three of the best players in the game in Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Jimmy Bartel, but beyond those three, pretty much everybody was outplayed.
"Sydney were awesome," was Wayne Carey's uncomplicated but accurate assessment of the Swans.
"Our pressure at the ball was enormous and the way we attacked the contest was really ferocious. We were really able to build our game on that which was fantastic," Swans coach John Longmire said.
Geelong got inside the Sydney 50 metre zone 72 times but managed just eight goals. That, more than the trademark moments of Buddy Franklin magic, was the story of this game. Sydney were just too tough, which is remarkable as they were by far the younger team.
Remarkably, four of Sydney's players had never even played on the MCG. That won't be an issue next week. Sydney's main worry ahead of the grand final is a knee injury to exciting defender Aliir Aliir.Suggest a correction