‘Why were they booing him?’ Longmire questions Pies’ fans treatment of ‘champion of the game’ Franklin
AFL great Lance Franklin is the latest star player to be booed by opposition fans, leaving Sydney coach John Longmire bemused and Collingwood counterpart Craig McRae nonplussed.
Franklin, a likely Australian football Hall Of Fame legend, had a goal-less game as the Magpies kicked clear in the last term on Sunday to beat Sydney by 29 points at the MCG.
The Magpies’ grinding 11.11 (77) to 6.12 (48) win in chilly conditions attracted 71,463 fans, some of whom decided Franklin was their villain for the afternoon.
“I don’t know why they would – why were they booing him?,” Longmire said post-match
“You’d probably celebrate a 36-year-old, wouldn’t you, who’s been a champion of the game?
“It’s been 10 years since we’ve played Collingwood here … it doesn’t make sense.”
McRae put it succinctly: “We just don’t boo”.
Collingwood fans were the first to boo Port Adelaide young gun Jason Horne-Francis earlier this season and it became a weekly occurrence, eventually prompting a heated response from Power coach Ken Hinkley.
A career-best five goals from Brody Mihocek, including a spectacular mid-air soccer strike in the last quarter, plus an outstanding captain’s game from Darcy Moore and Jack Ginnivan’s second-half cameo, highlighted the Magpies’ win.
The win keeps the Magpies at the top of the ladder, while the Swans have lost three in a row and are struggling with a 3-5 record.
Mihocek was the only multiple goal kicker in the tough conditions and the Magpies sealed the win with five goals to one in the last term.
“Like the last two or three games, our pressure in the last quarter goes to another level,” McRae said.
“Teams right now are struggling with that.”
Moore was a brick wall in defence and continually thwarted the Swans.
Ginnivan, named as the sub after lacklustre form, came on in the third term and immediately gave Collingwood much-needed spark.
He also kicked a last-term goal as the Magpies surged clear.
Sydney suffered a blow at the opening bounce when ruckman Peter Ladhams suffered a neck injury which forced him from the field.
He was able to return in the second term and played out the game, but was out of sorts.
Ryan Clarke kicked Sydney’s only goal of the opening quarter and let his opponent Nick Daicos know all about it, sparking a series of scuffles.
McRae was rapt that other Magpies stood up for Daicos.
“We want to be a team that does that. I’ve said this often – someone comes at us, we want to go back at them, but within the rules,” he said.
Collingwood veteran Scott Pendlebury had a team-high 31 possessions, while Swans young gun Errol Gulden racked up 37 possessions.