Hawthorn Hawks and Sydney Swans will meet in the 2014 AFL Grand Final at the MCG on Saturday after taking out their respective preliminary finals on the weekend.
The Sydney Swans went into their Preliminary Final with North Melbourne Kangaroos as clear favourites and they controlled the match from the outset to cruise in their second Grand Final in three years.
The Swans won all four quarters to stamp themselves as clear 2014 AFL Premiership favourites and coach John Longmire was thrilled with the performance of his side heading into the Grand Final this weekend.
“It was a good allrounder performance to start as we did against a team that’s won six games in a row and came up full of confidence,” Longmire said at the post-game press conference.
“From the first bounce we went about it in a really professional manner and did what we had to do.
“It was a really well-rounded win.
“It’s hard to win a preliminary final; I was at a club (North Melbourne) where we played in seven preliminary finals in a row and we got to three Grand Finals and won two flags.
“You’ve got to enjoy that moment tonight then get your injuries attended to, your sore spots, then enjoy the week, know what it’s about and switch on and switch off at the right times, which hopefully the majority of our players will do well.”
While Sydney never looked in danger of being beaten by North Melbourne, Hawthorn were forced to survive a late scare from Port Adelaide to keep alive their hopes of winning back-to-back AFL Premierships.
Hawthorn went into the final quarter with a 23 point lead, but lost key midfielder Jordan Lewis to injury and lost their way in the final term.
Port Adelaide had the opportunity to qualify for just their third AFL Grand Final in club history, but failed to take advantage of their opportunities and suffered a heart-breaking three point defeat.
Hawthorn’s victory set up a mouthwatering clash with former star Lance Franklin in his first season since defecting to the Swans, but Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said that his side would be concentrating on the entire Swans squad and not just their former teammate.
“I’m sure you guys will make a bit of spice out of it,” Clarkson said.
“We’re just a side that will run out with 22 brown and gold jumpers against 22 red and white ones.
“As mundane as that may seem, that’s the way we have to approach it.
“He’s been a really good football player for our club for a long, long period of time and he’s obviously playing some really good footy for Sydney at the present time.
“What’s happened beforehand doesn’t really matter now, it’s all about 22 guys from each side doing what they need to do to win and secure their club a premiership next week.”
Sydney are currently favourites at a quote of $1.63 to win the 2014 AFL Grand Final with Ladbrokes.com.au, while Hawthorn are available at odds of $2.35 to score an upset win.
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