Lance Franklin sparked wild cheers at the MCG after kicking a 50m free kick to end Melbourne’s semi-final in Sydney on Friday night.
As the Demons opened up a 16-point lead early in the second quarter, Franklin was one of four Swans not to register a disposal in the opening period.
Commentator Matthew Richardson questioned how Sydney would find a way forward as May controlled three of six first-quarter interceptions.
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“Now look over there and just go, ‘How are they going to get here? May is at the top of Franklin,” he said.
But Franklin used all of his experience to land not one, but two free kicks to bring his side into the contest after a challenge from Melbourne rival Steven May.
As the ball was thrown across Melbourne’s 50m arc, Franklin clutched his back and fell to the ground.
During a penalty shootout against Franklin in May, a referee from midfield saw Will Hayward award a 50m penalty and a goal.
“That’s been the case all game. May and Franklin are pushing and shoving,” said analyst Brian Taylor.
“Jeez it was smooth.”
“That was Budi. He realized there were no attackers in front of the ball and tried to move forward 50. May just blocked him. Budi hit the deck and the offside referee saw it,” added Luke Hodge.
“He just decorated it there. He had been working all night, but Meizin got there.” Richardson said.
“That wouldn’t normally put him there, but he put it there.”
Boss shouted at the MCG as contact replays of both free kicks played on the big screens.
“There wasn’t much volume in that,” said analyst James Bryshaw.
Fox Footy’s Gary Lyons said Buddy’s moment “changed the game,” while Jonathan Brown described the May-Franklin battle as a “powder-keg.”
In the 10 minutes following the controversial 50m call, Sydney were +3 in contested possessions, +3 in clearances, +3 inside 50s and +19 points.
After Hayward’s goal, Swan Tom Papley quickly rose in front of May.
“It’s no surprise that Papli entered May. As there is push and shove, Papley gets involved,” Hodge laughed.
“It brings him into the game.”
“He loves it. He grows on it. It inspires him,” Taylor added.
May was praised for his good blocking role against Franklin in the opener.
“Steven May’s first quarter has been amazing,” Lyon said.
Brown was equally impressed with the defenders’ stance to keep Franklin out of contention.
“He’s very active in his position. He’s willing to get the point and get in front,” he said.
“He was very aggressive and physical against Buddy Franklin. Buddy knocks Franklin as a forward. It gets you out of line.”
“A friend has never been the sign of a good argument. He is a person who likes to move the ball fluently. Melbourne were too good at forcing Sydney to play slower plays, so they didn’t get any clean football.
There were big cheers at the MCG after the Buddy challenge, when May was awarded a free kick on Franklin on the wing.
May then earned himself a second free kick six minutes later, falling to the ground as the Swans surged forward.
“Please let’s go,” said Richardson.
“You’ve got to let those full-forwards and full-backs fall into place a little bit.
“They’re trying to create space down there and lead.
“We don’t blow the whistle every time.
“That’s why you come to your feet. to watch those battles”
Taylor wasn’t impressed with the whistle-blowing conditions either.
“I’ve never seen any of the big guys fall so easily tonight,” he said.
“Once they get a sniff that the judge is going to pay, they’re both trying to milk it.”