From the Lake Oval to the Harbour City, there's been a bit of water under the bridge for the Swans over the past 45 years. While there have been some awful lows, not least in the 1990s, the move to Sydney has brought five grand finals, including two premierships. But it's not just September glory that has given Bloods' fans reasons to cheer the red and white. Here are five of their best home and away wins since 1970.
1. Geelong v South Melbourne, round 20, 1970, Kardinia Park
Having not made the finals in a quarter-of-a-century, the fourth-placed Swans were on the verge of a return when they ventured west to face the Cats, who sat one position below them on the ladder, separated only by a game and percentage. Twenty-three points adrift at quarter-time, South hit back to draw level at half-time and ultimately prevail by seven points, their first win at the ground since 1958. Peter Bedford played perhaps the finest game of his Brownlow season, having 28 disposals and kicking four goals. The Swans booked their finals spot a week later, but were ultimately eliminated by St Kilda in the first semi-final.
2. Sydney v Kangaroos, round 4, 1999, SCG
The Swans were winless and had been thrashed the previous week against Essendon, Matthew Lloyd kicking 13 goals. The Roos were the reigning grand finalists and had moved in on the Swans' territory, with this Saturday night battle preceding a series of games the Roos would be "hosting" in Sydney. Eight goals down approaching half-time, and without Tony Lockett, Sydney's night and season looked in tatters. But with Stuart Maxfield herculean, the Swans fought their way back on a muddy night. Captain Paul Kelly drew his side within a kick after breaking two tackles before putting through his second of the night, while Maxfield's curling left-foot snap shortly after gave Sydney an improbable one-point lead, doubled before the siren. While not a flagship season by any means, the win was pivotal in ensuring the Swans recovered to make the finals.
3. Sydney v Essendon, round 17, 1987, SCG
This match has to be placed within the context of a unprecedented three week stretch in which the Tom Hafey-coached Swans piled on 30 goals in three consecutive matches. It is the second of the trio that lingers most, as Sydney kicked 36.20 (236), at the time the second highest score in VFL history. Amazingly given they won by 163 points, the margin was just two points at quarter-time, before Sydney hit their straps. At the peak of his powers, Warwick Capper bagged six majors, one of 11 multiple goalkickers for the winners. To emphasise just how good the Swans were against the Dons, Barry Mitchell didn't get a Brownlow vote despite having 38 disposals and kicking three goals! A thumping win over Richmond the following week sent Sydney to the top of the ladder, but a late-season slump ensued, with the Swans losing three of their final four home and away games prior to a straight-sets finals exit.
4. Carlton v Sydney, round 1, 1990, Princes Park
Forty-five points down on a sunny afternoon on Royal Parade, the Swans looked destined to begin their season with a heavy defeat. Not only was a thrashing averted though, Sydney came back and won, the first time they had beaten the Blues at the venue in 25 years. Having cut the deficit to 18 points at three-quarter-time, they edged the encounter by five points on the back of a late Mitchell goal. Coincidentally both Mitchell and Greg Williams, who claimed the three Brownlow votes for a 43-disposal game, would later play for the Blues.
5. Brisbane Lions v Sydney, round 3, 2005, Gabba
The Lions had made four straight grand finals and their home fortress remained close to impregnable, notwithstanding the Swans' strong form in Queensland in the preceding two seasons. Facing a 32-point three-quarter-time deficit, Sydney charged back with Jude Bolton influential. With scores level, Barry Hall was paid a free kick for high contact 20m out directly in front. With the siren having sounded mid-run, Hall slotted his fifth goal of the evening, putting his team in front for the first time all night. For Hall it was not an entirely new experience, having beaten Hawthorn after the bell in the final round of 2001, with what proved to be his last kick for the Saints.