Buddy Franklin winds back the clock as Freo savaged over 'appalling' scenes

The Sydney Swans veteran was at his vintage best in what was probably his last game in Western Australia.

Buddy Franklin.
Buddy Franklin kicked three goals as the Swans beat the Dockers. Image: Fox Footy/Getty

Buddy Franklin was at his barnstorming best for the Sydney Swans on Saturday night as the veteran forward once again silenced his critics with an impressive display. The 36-year-old produced a number of special moments in what was likely his farewell to Western Australia.

Franklin booted 3 goals from 11 disposals and played a hand in two other goals as the Swans kept their AFL finals hopes alive with a 16.9 (105) to 12.4 (76) win over Fremantle in front of 42,433 fans at Optus Stadium. last year's grand finalists are now 12th on the ladder and just one win adrift of sixth spot.

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With Franklin expected to retire at the end of the season, the match was probably the 36-year-old's final AFL appearance in his hometown of Perth. But the veteran still has some miles left in the tank and produced a vintage performance on Saturday night.

"I love it. It's where I'm from. You like to play well when you come back home in front of family and friends," Franklin told Fox Sports. "I'm feeling alright for the oldest guy in the AFL. I'm just enjoying it for what it is."

Swans coach John Longmire was full of praise for Franklin and revealed he had copped an early knock to his knee. "He was a bit sore on the bike," Longmire said.

"He was on the Tour de France there for a second and he had the yellow jersey on and away he went just to get it warm. He bounced back fine. There were moments tonight he just stood up and did what he had to do. He imposed himself. He's just such a massive competitor."

Buddy Franklin after a goal for the Sydney Swans against Fremantle.
Buddy Franklin celebrates a goal for the Sydney Swans against Fremantle. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images) (AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Dockers threatened to launch multiple comebacks during a pulsating third quarter, but Franklin managed to snuff them out each time. After Freo booted the first two goals of the term to narrow the Swans' lead, Franklin settled Sydney's nerves with a successful set shot.

He then took a strong mark to set up Tom Papley for another goal, before taking a strong juggling mark while falling to the ground to boot his third. His efforts ensured Sydney went to the final quarter with a 29-point lead - a margin Fremantle couldn't reel in.

Fans were also full of praise for the 36-year-old's performance. It marked the fourth-straight game in which he has kicked at least two goals.

Fremantle under fire over 'appalling' first quarters

Fremantle were left to rue another lacklustre first quarter, which West Coast premiership player Will Schofield described as "appalling". Dockers forward Josh Treacy kicked the first goal of the match, but the Swans booted the next six to take a 25-point lead into quarter-time.

“They have a serious, serious issue with their first quarters,” Schofield said on Fox Footy. “They lose that (first quarter) by four goals and that’s what they are losing by right now.

“They’ve won only two first quarters this year. It’s been appalling to be honest. Off the back of how they’ve started first quarters, it’s been poor this year."

Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir said: "Every time we would get ourselves back into the game and look a threat, they would just have the class to be able to win a centre bounce and win a couple of contests and connect inside 50. They always just held us at arm's length."

with AAP

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