WHEN Steven May lined up on Tom McCartin on Saturday afternoon, leaving the task of handling Lance Franklin to Rory Thompson, few were more surprised than Franklin himself.
After all, May and Franklin have had their fair share of duels over the years.
And after the Suns pulled off one of the great upset victories of 2018, May revealed a cheeky pre-game sledge Franklin had sent Thompson’s way.
“Buddy said — when we came out, I (went) and shook his hand, which he normally doesn’t do but he did today — and then once I walked away from him to McCartin, he looked at me and he said “Steve, are you serious, you’re going to let this bloke play on me?” May told ABC Grandstand post-match.
“So just classic Buddy … but I was glad that I didn’t have to play on him and even better that Rory didn’t get any goals kicked on him.”
Thompson got the better of Franklin in the win, keeping the star Swan goalless, with Franklin recording just three behinds for the day.
May revealed he had originally planned to play on Franklin, before the Suns opted to pit Thompson one-on-one with the Swans star, allowing May to play an intercept role off young forward Tom McCartin.
As a result, May was one of his side’s best, recording 10 intercept marks, 14 marks and 23 disposals, while keeping McCartin goalless.
“We had a plan: I was going to play on Buddy — I usually do take him — and we thought ‘No, Rory’s in good form, let him lock down Buddy and I can play on the young kid McCartin and hopefully I can help out in the air’ — which I was able to do today, so it was credit to the coaching team,” May said.
“I tell you what, flying into Sydney against Lance Franklin, you don’t have a great night’s sleep, you don’t want to end up on ‘seven plays in seven days’ or something like that.
“But when they did say ‘Rory, you’re going to take Buddy’, there was a bit of a sigh of relief.”
May took the opportunity to praise the “underrated” Thompson, who has played 102 games for the Suns.
“Rory’s very underrated,” May said.
“He’s a very quietly spoken guy — if you guys have interviewed him before you’d know that, he probably doesn’t answer any questions — but the thing is, he’s a very solid player.
“He does a lot of work and he doesn’t get beaten a lot but he doesn’t get spoken about either — I suppose that’s a good thing as a full back, you don’t want people talking about you getting goals kicked on you.”
Source : Foxsports