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Live AFL Round 22, GWS Giants v Sydney Swans, live scores, live stream, updates, video, live blog, GWS injuries, Lance Franklin

LANCE Franklin is the most powerful forward in the competition.

And when GWS Giants defender Phil Davis sluggishly walked from the ground late in the second term, all signs pointed to yet another Buddy bag.

The Giants woes were compounded by Jeremy Finlayson’s ankle injury later in the piece.

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Leon Cameron moved the magnets by flipping versatile tall Adam Tomlinson to defence, while Davis – lacking mobility and far from being 100 per cent fit– was thrown into unfamiliar territory inside 50.

And Davis almost got the ball through the big sticks for career goal number seven early in the third term, as the Giants captain attempted to fill a role out on the ground for his team.

Instead, the Giants’ injuries opened the door for Franklin to take the game – and the Swans’ season – by the scruff of the neck.

And as Buddy does far too often, he delivered when the Swans needed it the most – helping Sydney lock in a finals spot and jump into the top four.

The Swans trailed by as much as 21-points during the third term, but booted six goals to one in the hot final quarter.

Lance Franklin kicks for goal. Photo: Phil Hillyard
Lance Franklin kicks for goal. Photo: Phil HillyardSource: News Corp Australia

After having just a sole goal with Davis left the ground, Franklin produced the magic finishing with five goals – with the Giants unable to curb his influence on the crucial contest.

The 31-year-old’s performance saw him win the Brett Kirk Medal, judged the best player on the ground.

“What a win, it was awesome, it really was,” Franklin told Fox Footy post-match.

We played four quarters. We knew our run was pretty good … broke it open and we were able to come away with a win.”

Against all odds, the Swans continue to get the job done and will provide a threat for sides coming into finals.

“They’ve won three big games against Collingwood, Melbourne, the Giants,” former coach Paul Roos said.

Without Phil Davis, the Giants had to use Jeremy Finlayson and Adam Tomlinson on Franklin. Photo: Brendon Thorne/AAP Image.
Without Phil Davis, the Giants had to use Jeremy Finlayson and Adam Tomlinson on Franklin. Photo: Brendon Thorne/AAP Image.Source: AAP

“High quality team, well coached, great leaders and that’s what they do week-in, week-out.”

The win has massive ramifications on the finals, with the Swans jumping into fourth spot on the ladder – locking in finals for the 15th time in the last 16 years.

Not only do the Giants fall outside of the top four, they will be counting their losses with more players set to be added to their already long injury list.

Veteran midfielder Ryan Griffen was sidelined with a hamstring injury, with Giants coach Leon Cameron suggesting it was “disappointing” to see another member of their best 22 set to be sidelined.

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The Giants are already missing key forward Jon Patton, dynamic Toby Greene, Brett Deledio and veteran defender Heath Shaw.

They will however be hopeful of regaining star midfielder Josh Kelly next weekend for their crucial match against Melbourne in the MCG.

The Swans could have some nerves of their own, with Luke Parker set to come under scrutiny for a high bump on Matt Buntine.

“I think because Matt Buntine got up and continued on for the res t of the game, I think Parker will be alright,” Brisbane great Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy.

Star Swan in trouble?

Star Swan in trouble?

0:42

“He did leave the ground, if Buntine had have stayed off the ground and went for the concussion test, I think Parker gets a week for that.”

Roos said he believed the fact Buntine played on would help Parker

“We know it’s a result rather than the action, that’s pretty clear from the MRO,” Roos said on Fox Footy.

“So I think he’s fine because Buntine gest back up.”

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