A clutch captain’s goal from Jarryd Roughead delivered Hawthorn a six-point win over AFL rivals Sydney on Friday night at the SCG.
Roughead converted a tough set shot from beyond the 50m arc with 80 seconds remaining as the Hawks triumphed 12.9 (81) to 11.9 (75).
The visitors looked to be on track for a comfortable victory earlier in the game, but the Swans launched a barnstorming comeback during the third quarter.
Sydney led by seven points late in the final term after kicking five consecutive goals, a run that Lance Franklin started with a trademark showstopper from outside the 50m arc.
Shaun Burgoyne, who slotted his second astonishing goal of the night, and Roughead ensured there was one final twist.
Franklin, who booted five goals, was awarded the Goodes-O’Loughlin medal for best on ground.
Franklin and Burgoyne were both wearing No.67 to recognise the 50th anniversary of the referendum that was a landmark achievement for indigenous Australians.
Both stepped up superbly in Indigenous Round.
Franklin moves to 10th on the list of VFL/AFL goalkickers after lifting his career tally to 819.
Franklin also dished off a handful of goals, while his pressure acts were influential in the Swans’ stirring third-quarter fightback.
The Swans, coming off consecutive six-day breaks, rallied despite having only two fit men on the bench.
Jake Lloyd was knocked out early in the first quarter, while Sam Reid also failed a concussion test after being slung to the ground by Burgoyne during the second term.
It was a spiteful match, with Sydney’s Zak Jones among many players from both sides likely to sweat on the match review panel’s findings.
Dan Hannebery and Josh Kennedy tallied a combined 68 disposals for the Swans, while Liam Shiels laid 10 tackles and had 31 possessions for the Hawks.
“It was satisfying because we had our backs to the wall and we were challenged,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said.
“We lost a close game in similar circumstances against Collingwood last week.
“We’ve been pretty good in clutch games in recent times.”
Clarkson was full of praise for leaders Burgoyne, Roughead and Luke Hodge but also former charge Franklin.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit hard to admire when you’re an opposition coach,” Clarkson said.
“He consistently does brilliant things.”
Swans counterpart John Longmire agreed Franklin was “enormous”.
Longmire cut a desolate figure after the game, with the Swans slipping to a win-loss record of 3-7 after the upset.
“We had some courageous efforts (when the side was down to two fit men on the bench during the second half) … unfortunately it was not enough,” he said.
“We didn’t play the footy that we wanted to.”