Some Geelong players said they were deliberately hit by fans who stormed the field at the SCG on Friday night to celebrate Lance Franklin’s historic 1,000th AFL goal.
The Swans star became only the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to reach the landmark late in the fourth quarter of Sydney’s 107-77 win over the Cats.
As the 35-year-old booted his fourth major of the night and the 1,000th of his career, he was instantly swamped by fans as his teammates tried to form a protective ring around him.
Lance Franklin scored his 1,000th AFL goal on Friday night, sparking wild scenes at the SCG
Supporters made light work of security at the SCG and mobbed Franklin. While the celebrations were mostly trouble-free, Cats players felt they were targeted by some Swans fans.
‘It was an interesting night. I wasn’t the only player that got hit pretty hard and I am not sure they were all accidents,’ Zach Tuohy told 3AW.
The Geelong defender accidentally flattened a fan as he tried to make his way off the field amid the chaos that ensued after Franklin had booted his fourth goal of the night.
TV footage showed the Irishman was charged by a fan as he weaved his towards the dressing room. Following the collision, Tuohy noticed the spectator had dropped his wallet in the mayhem, picked it up and called after the fan.
Franklin’s fellow Swans were the first to reach him after his 1,000th AFL goal soared through the posts – but the fans weren’t far behind
Zach Tuohy accidentally flattened a Swans fan in the chaos that followed Franklin’s historic goal and said Cats players feared the worst as supporters rushed onto the field
Cats gun Jeremy Cameron (left) was reportedly hit by a fan during the celebrations
Tuohy’s remarks were echoed by AFL journalist Damian Barrett, who told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show that several Geelong players feared the worst when fans rushed onto the pitch.
‘A Geelong player (said), “It was genuinely extraordinary and dangerous. We had so many players deliberately run into, it wasn’t funny”,’ Barrett said.
‘Jeremy Cameron was smashed in the fracas and the hoards of people that ran out onto the ground. Both Jack Henry and Tom Atkins had moments where they were genuinely fearful about what was going to happen.
The chaotic celebration on the field halted the game for 33 minutes as stewards, security and police battled to regain control and clear the pitch
The Hawks and Swans great was surrounded by fans after kicking his 1000th goal
Dozens of security guards were stationed around the boundary fence but they had no hope of stopping the human tsunami after Franklin booted his fourth major
The SCG playing surface was completely taken over by fans, promptinh Seven commentator James Brayshaw to say: ‘I’ve never seen scenes like that at a sporting event anywhere’
‘There were at least six Geelong players who were very worried about what was going to happen with people running on.’
It took almost 40 minutes to clear the field of play as fans slowly returned to the stands, while Franklin was eventually ushered back to the dressing room. Swans head coach John Longmire conceded the security plans put in place to deal with an eventual pitch invasion had left something to be desired.
‘I’m not sure if that worked out perfectly on Friday night,’ he told SEN’s Crunch Time.
‘Things went a bit pear-shaped there for a while, there were people everywhere. But what do you do? It’s just one of the moments that you can plan as much as you like but in the end, it was just incredible, a bit of football history.’
An ecstatic Franklin celebrates with teammates as the first wave of the crowd is just about to wash over him just seconds after he kicked his fourth goal against Geelong
Buddy salutes the crowd. It took 33 minutes to clear them off the SCG so play could resume, with the Swans running out 30-point winners over Geelong
Former Collingwood and Carlton coach Mick Malthouse was far more critical of the logistic arrangements.
‘I think it’s quite pathetic,’ Malthouse told Sports Talk on Saturday.
‘I think last night was just a demonstration of something that was not organised correctly.
Former Carlton and Collingwood boss Mick Malthouse slammed the AFL for its ‘pathetic’ handling of the celebrations at the SCG on Friday night
‘We all knew it was going to happen at some stage […] You’ve got to be ready for it and the simple fact supporters were able to get to him before any sort of people guarding him or looking after his space, I thought was quite pathetic.
‘He [Franklin] got hit on the head so many times by supporters […] he was really over that.
‘I thought it was just really poorly done. It just left too many things that could go wrong.’