Sydney’s pressure was so high against Melbourne in their qualifying final win that they created a remarkable stat “unheard of” in the AFL.
The Demons were forced to have essentially equal contested possessions to their uncontested disposals as the Swans’ put in a “crazy” effort at the MCG on Friday night.
Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon was stunned by Sydney’s absolute dominance.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match until the Grand Final Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
“There’s something unfolding here. There’s a destiny about this at the moment with this Sydney group,” he said.
“(Melbourne) just got out-toughed today.
“The pressure number here is crazy. Their tackles – unbelievable!
“That is unheard of – they forced Melbourne to have as many contested possessions as uncontested. That doesn’t happen in footy. That’s normally 70-30.
“It was one to one. Crazy!”
Statistics showed the Swans were +20 on the AFL average pressure rating, +24 on the tackle average and +15 on the average tackles inside forward 50.
“You know when you are coming of age as a team, and maturing as a team when you go on the road and final a big final – against the reigning premiers,” Jonathan Brown said.
“Haven’t we seen this in the last 15 years, the bloods culture, the famous bloods culture.
“Their pressure was just through the roof again.”
Nathan Buckley said the 22-point win, which booked the Swans a home preliminary final at the SCG, was build on the back of their forward half pressure.
“They had 25 forward 50 tackles which is the second highest for the whole year,” he said.
“They’ve looked like they’ve made progress as the year’s gone on, and now they’ve given themselves a real crack at it.
“There’s a real belief there. There’s a sense of steely resolve under all that.
“The Swans just executed their plan and their brand really well. They’d have an extra two or three at the next contest – they just outworked and out-pressured the opposition.”
Nick Riewoldt said there had been question marks over whether the Swans had to “toughness” needed to progress this finals series.
And he said the answer was emphatic against the Dees.
“They are a great side to follow – because they never let you down on effort,” he praised.
“This was a game that was underpinned by unconditional effort. They were ferocious with their effort.
“(The question had been) Are they tough enough? Are Gulden, McInerney, Papley, Rowbottom and the smaller sort of fleet of footballers – are they tough enough?
“They’ve flipped it unbelievably. Its was the most unbelievable display of toughness.
“They got right in the face of their Melbourne opponents, and they couldn’t do anything.
“From (Melbourne’s) 40 (defensive) exits, they scored once.”