Unconvincing Swans sneak past Richmond - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Unconvincing Swans sneak past Richmond

By James Dampney 03/05/2009 05:28:19 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach Paul Roos was left thanking "Super Marty" Mattner after the defender pulled off one of the tackles of the year to help the Swans overcome Richmond at the SCG on Sunday.

The Tigers were storming home early in the final quarter and, trailing by just six points, young forward Jack Riewoldt was about to stroll into an open goal-square and level the scores.

But Mattner didn't give up the chase and pulled off a tackle that was a major factor in Sydney's important, albeit unconvincing, 14.10 (94) to 11.9 (75) victory.

The Swans then replied with two quick goals as they kept their unbeaten home record intact and improved to 3-3 on the season, while Richmond slumped to 1-5.

Prior to Mattner's tackle the Tigers had kicked the opening goal of the final term through Mark Coughlan to pull within nine points before reeling off three behinds as they had all the momentum against a tiring Sydney outfit.

And the usually unflappable Roos was a worried man when Riewoldt took possession.

"I was concerned when (Riewoldt) was running into an open goal and then Super Marty came out of the grand stand and tackled him," he said.

"Obviously, first quarter, we probably should've been another three (goals) up, I think we had 11 scoring shots.

"That's the way footy is, you have to take your chances. But they've got some quality players and some young guys coming into the prime of their careers."

Sydney led by 23 points at quarter-time as they attempted to bounce back from last week's uncharacteristic loss to Fremantle and seemed to be cruising to their sixth straight victory over a flat Richmond side.

They stretched the advantage to 27 points at halftime before the Tigers began their rally.

"I thought the game was won in the first quarter," Richmond coach Terry Wallace said.

"We knew Sydney had been extremely disappointed in their performance last week.

"We knew what to expect in the way they were going to conduct themselves, but the reality is knowing what to expect and dealing with it are two separate things."

Barry Hall and Michael O'Loughlin kicked two goals apiece in their returns from injury, while Rhyce Shaw continued his outstanding start to the season and shone in his 100th AFL game.

Former Canadian Test rugby player Mike Pyke also made his debut and showed some good signs in the ruck early before fading after halftime.

Young Tigers Richard Tambling and Daniel Jackson impressed, but Matthew Richardson appeared hampered by the buttock injury he sustained last week.

Richardson kicked Richmond's first goal, the 800th of his career, but otherwise had little impact.

Roos felt his defensive line was the key to victory.

"I thought our defence was super all day," he said.

"Even when they were on top they weren't able to kick five or six goals.

"I think our defence is what won us the game."

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