Sydney Derby (AFL)

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Sydney Derby
First contested 24 March 2012
Most recent meeting 18 April 2015
Next meeting 22 August 2015
Number of meetings 7
All-time series (regular-season only) Sydney 6 wins
Greater Western Sydney 1 win
Largest victory Sydney – 129 points (14 July 2013)
Greater Western Sydney – 32 points (15 March 2014)

The Sydney Derby, also known as the Battle of the Bridge,[1] is an Australian rules football rivalry match between the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney, who both participate in the Australian Football League (AFL). The newest local derby in the AFL, the first derby was held in 2012, following the introduction of Greater Western Sydney to the AFL. The best performed player in each derby is awarded the Brett Kirk Medal. The Swans have a 6–1 advantage over the Giants. Sydney dominated the first two seasons of the rivalry, winning every game by more than 30 points,[2] but the Giants' upset win over the Swans in round 1 of 2014 means the intracity rivalry is no longer entirely one-sided.


Kevin Sheedy, inaugural coach of the Greater Western Sydney Giants has said he wants to turn the Sydney Derby into "the biggest rivalry in Australian sport" and also argued that the clash should rather be referred to as the Battle of the Bridge - in reference to the ANZAC Bridge (regarded as the gateway to Sydney's Inner West). The Swans opposed the name, arguing the name implied they were only an Eastern Suburbs club.[3][4] In spite of that, Sheedy vowed to continue to refer to the game as The Battle of the Bridge stating,' It's the battle of the bridge and not the derby, put a line through derby...It's the way people in the west want it to be. We've spoken to lots of people in the west and they like the idea. They love the idea of the ANZAC I'll go on my own personal recommendation. Our fans out west like it, they know it's a landmark', and also stated the Swans and the Giants were,' Like Coles and Woolworths in the same town'.[5]

Brett Kirk Medal and White Ribbon Trophy[edit]

The medal for the player adjudged best on ground is known as the Brett Kirk Medal, named after Brett Kirk, who played 241 games for the Sydney Swans and was their captain from 2006 to 2010. Kirk has previously spoken passionately about the derby:[6]

I grew up in country New South Wales and it's great for footy that there will now be two teams based in Sydney ... I really hope the derbies between the Swans and the Giants develop into a great rivalry and become huge games on the AFL calendar, dividing the city and the state in the way that the South Australian and West Australian derbies do.

—Brett Kirk, 3 February 2012

On 20 March 2012, it was announced that the official name of the trophy presented to the winners of each derby match would be the White Ribbon Trophy.[7] White Ribbon is an Australian organisation that works to prevent the most common and pervasive form of male violence – that towards women.


Both derbies in 2012 were held at Stadium Australia. The venue hosted the Giants home game in 2013, but the Swans home game was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In 2014, the Giants home game shifted to Sydney Showground Stadium. This sees both teams hosting their respective derbies at their primary, spiritual home grounds.


Date Season Rd Home team G B Pts Away team G B Pts Ground Crowd Winner Margin Brett Kirk Medal
1 24 March 2012 1 Greater Western Sydney 5 7 37 Sydney 14 16 100 Stadium Australia 38,203  Sydney  63 Points Josh P. Kennedy (Sydney)
2 30 June 2012 14 Sydney 19 18 132 Greater Western Sydney 5 8 38 Stadium Australia 22,565  Sydney  94 Points Kieren Jack (Sydney)
3 30 March 2013 1 Greater Western Sydney 11 10 76 Sydney 16 10 106 Stadium Australia 23,690  Sydney  30 Points Kieren Jack (Sydney)
4 14 July 2013 16 Sydney 24 27 171 Greater Western Sydney 5 12 42 S.C.G. 21,757  Sydney  129 Points Nick Malceski (Sydney)
5 15 March 2014 1 Greater Western Sydney 15 9 99 Sydney 9 13 67 Showground 17,102  GWS Giants  32 Points Callan Ward (Greater Western Sydney)
6 28 June 2014 15 Sydney 15 16 106 Greater Western Sydney 8 12 60 S.C.G. 27,778  Sydney  46 Points Kieren Jack (Sydney)
7 18 April 2015 3 Sydney 16 15 111 Greater Western Sydney 12 18 90 S.C.G. 31,966  Sydney  21 points Dan Hannebery (Sydney)
8 22 August 2015 21 Greater Western Sydney Sydney Showground

Leading goalkickers[edit]

Player Club Games Goals Behinds
Jeremy Cameron Greater Western Sydney 7 13 6
Lance Franklin Sydney 3 11 9
Josh P. Kennedy Sydney 7 9 7
Lewis Jetta Sydney 6 8 6
Kieran Jack Sydney 6 8 6
Craig Bird Sydney 6 7 9
Jonathon Patton Greater Western Sydney 4 6 3

Notable games[edit]

Sydney Swans (left) and Greater Western Sydney Giants (right) players line up for the national anthem prior to the inaugural Sydney Derby.
  • Game 1 - The first Sydney Derby was also the first premiership match in club history for the Giants.
  • Game 5 – The game was delayed at quarter time by a lightning storm. The quarter time break lasted 25 minutes instead of the normal 5 minutes. Sydney only kicked three goals after the delay as the Giants went on to win their first game against their more highly rated opponents.
  • Game 6 – Former Hawk and $10 million Swans recruit, Lance Franklin, kicked five goals, the most kicked by an individual player in a Sydney derby.
  • Game 7 - Lance Franklin equals his own record of most goals in a derby with 5 goals but also boots 5 behinds.



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Sheedy stokes Swans-Giants rivalry – Published 28 December 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  4. ^ Caroline Wilson (2012-02-29). "A Bridge too far for Swans". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  5. ^ Andrew Wu (2012-03-28). "Sheedy taunts Swans as Giants sweat on stars for showdown". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  6. ^ Brett Kirk Medal to be awarded in Derby – Published 3 February 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  7. ^ Swans and GWS to play for White Ribbon Trophy – Published 20 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.