Dane Rampe's staggering act in runner-up speech after AFL grand final

Dane Rampe, pictured here paying tribute to Joel Selwood in his runner-up speech after the AFL grand final.
Dane Rampe paid tribute to Joel Selwood in his runner-up speech after the AFL grand final. Image: Channel 7

Sydney Swans co-captain Dane Rampe is being congratulated around the AFL world after a classy runner-up speech after his side's brutal loss in the grand final.

The Swans were blown off the MCG in Saturday's decider against Geelong, suffering an embarrassing 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) defeat.

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While the Swans' dismal display left AFL fans and commentators stunned, one positive to come from the loss was the class that Rampe showed during the post-match presentation.

Many losing captains have been savaged for their runner-up speeches after grand finals over the years, but not Rampe.

The Swans co-captain appeared to be fighting back tears as he paid a humble tribute to Geelong, singling out rival skipper Joel Selwood.

“Firstly to Chris (Scott) and Joel and the Geelong footy club, my heartfelt congratulations on the premiership this year,” Rampe said.

“You guys have been the benchmark for God-knows how long. Great to see a great reward for effort.

“I just want to touch on Joel Selwood’s record as well – sometimes you just have to pinch yourself when you share the field with the giants of the game mate, and you’re an absolute giant – congratulations.”

Rampe offered consolation to his teammates and apologised to Sydney fans.

Dane Rampe, pictured here after Sydney's loss to Geelong in the AFL grand final.
Dane Rampe looks on after Sydney's loss to Geelong in the AFL grand final. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

“To our boys, bad luck today,” he said.

“So proud of our efforts throughout the season. We’ll be back hungrier and better for it next year.

“To our red and white supporters, both South Melbourne and back in Sydney, sorry we failed you today.

“Your support has meant the utmost of the last three years, during Covid and this year particularly back with crowds – thank you.”

Channel 7 commentator Hamish McLachlan was among the many to praise Rampe.

“When Dane Rampe turned, when he was speaking, his eyes were closed and he mustered everything he could to talk,” McLachlan said.

“He spoke brilliantly, he was so in admiration of the Geelong Football Club. But it’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

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Grand final heartache to drive Sydney Swans next year

Speaking to reporters after the game, Rampe felt there would be plenty of positives to take from a breakout season for the Swans.

"Maybe a couple of weeks, couple of beers, and you look back - we have achieved a lot," he said.

"The growth of some of our younger players has been unbelievable.

"To see the rise of Chad Warner again today, he's been nothing short of incredible. There are plenty of positives to take out."

Rampe was confident Sydney can move forward and challenge again next season.

"What gives me confidence is the people we've got in our organisation," he said.

Dane Rampe, pictured here walking off the field with teammates after Sydney's loss in the AFL grand final.
Dane Rampe walks off the field with teammates after Sydney's loss in the AFL grand final. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

"Our adaptability and our ability to think bigger than just the game, it's (about) people first and foremost.

"We'll review it hard, but we'll also wrap our arms around each other.

"I haven't thought about our response yet. But I'm confident in the group and the club going forward ... and we'll do everything we can to get back here as well."

Fellow co-captain Callum Mills said the "embarrassed" Swans will use the burn of their grand final thumping to drive them forward.

"We feel pretty embarrassed to be honest," he said.

"It'll be hard not to think about this game (come pre-season).

"We let ourselves down and this will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come, that's for sure."

with AAP

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