Lance Franklin will buck a recent trend if he can kick a big bag of goals in Saturday’s AFL grand final against the Western Bulldogs.
The only players to have kicked five goals in a grand final in the past decade were his former Hawthorn teammate Jarryd Roughead in 2014 and Geelong’s Cam Mooney in 2007.
One has to go back to 1997 to find the last player to kick more than five in a season decider.
Darren Jarman kicked six in Adelaide’s win over St Kilda, while a year earlier the game’s most prolific all-time goalkicker, Tony Lockett, booted six in a losing cause for Sydney against North Melbourne .
“It’s very rare that you get a big key forward kick five or six goals (in a grand final),” said former key forward Barry Hall, who kicked a total of five goals in his three grand final appearances, with a best effort of three.
“You don’t get the traditional forwards kicking big bags of goals and winning the game for you.
“It’s just a different game of footy.”
Franklin has kicked ten goals in his four grand final appearances, a lower strike rate than his career average of over three a game.
Buddy’s best goal efforts in season deciders were both in a losing team.
His kicked four for the Swans against the Hawks in 2014 and his next highest tally of three was for Hawthorn against Sydney two years earlier.
Conversely, he kicked just one and two in victories over Fremantle and Geelong in 2013 and 2008 respectively.
Franklin’s 80-goal campaign has pushed him up ten places in the all-time goalkicking list headed by Lockett’s 1360 majors.
He’s moved up to 12th spot with 786, having this year overtaken the likes of Hall, Wayne Carey, Peter Hudson and Stephen Kernahan.
If he can fulfil the six seasons remaining on his Sydney contract. Franklin could well become just the sixth man to kick 1000 goals, needing an average of around 43 a year to reach four figures.
However, Lockett’s tally, which is starting to develop the unattainable aura of Bradman’s Test cricket average of 99.94, looks safe as Buddy would need to average 95 a year to catch Plugger.