Thank you Matt,
you make the bitterness of defeat, a little bit easier to swallow.
We have grown up as a side, and I really believe that next year could be ours.
“The Dockers were valiant and Sydney, on balance, the superior side. But for a moment in the third quarter, we scared the reigning premiers witless. The umpiring didn’t cost Fremantle the match, but unambiguously poor decisions gifted Sydney easy crucial goals and deprived the Dockers of momentum. The game was much, much closer than its six-goal margin.
The holding-the-ball rule is a crucifix too far. The Dockers had crept to within seven points when young defender Stephen Dodd fought for the ball with four Swans defenders. Umpire Stephen McBurney’s absurd misjudgment, that Dodd dragged the ball under, produced a crucial Swans goal and should cost McBurney a grand final berth.
If this sounds petty and bitter and biased, let me repeat: Sydney deserved its victory. The dragging rule is a disgrace almost whenever it is applied – penalising courage and effort and encouraging over-theatrical officiating – and the Swans copped some stiff decisions, too.”