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McCartney lauds Griffen's big AFL game
Sam Lienert
22:19 AEST Sun Aug 19 2012

Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney has labelled Ryan Griffen's 47-disposal game in Sunday's big AFL loss to Sydney an extraordinary performance under difficult circumstances.

Griffen's 16-touch first term was the chief driver for the Dogs surprising Sydney early to lead by three goals at quarter-time in the Etihad Stadium clash.

He had 25 possessions by halftime and even as the Swans piled on 16 goals to five in the second half, Griffen's lion-hearted running and ball-winning remained strong.

The fact that Sydney's midfield depth and class eventually overwhelmed a Bulldogs group missing the likes of Daniel Cross, Tom Liberatore and Luke Dahlhaus only highlighted Griffen's efforts.

"It was extraordinary, wasn't it," McCartney said.

"I think statistically it was extraordinary, but just to see a person give so much.

"He has been carrying a sore body around for a while and he's been playing in a midfield where he gets tagged heavily and he's only got a couple of young boys and (captain Matthew Boyd) to help him.

"We have lost some troops in that part of the ground, it was an extraordinary effort."

Swans coach John Longmire said he tried both Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh to quell Griffen, but eventually decided that with the Bulldog continuing to rack up touches yet the Swans running away on the scoreboard it was not worth contemplating further moves.

"He just played really well, he's a really good player," Longmire said.

"He had 22 contested possessions and his second half was really strong as well.

"We had a couple of different players on him, but he just played well.

"Sometimes that happens.

"Then you look at the scoreboard and think as long as the other blokes are doing a good job, we've just got to try to contain his effectiveness."