After last years last minute semi-final loss to eventual winners the Philippines, the Swans were keen to make amends and pulled together a small but strong touring squad for the 12-a-side tournament. Facing last years runner-up the Singapore Wombats first up the Swans knew they needed to make a statement early – and that they did, beating the wombats by 4 goals with some superb teamwork all over the ground. This form continued into the second game against the Barbarians with Josh Leary and Mitch Hyde getting plenty of ball from the centre. The boys racked up over 10 goals in 24 minutes of play. The third game against Hong Kong Darkside was a tough contest. With only 1 player on the interchange, a few players carrying injuries combined with the Manila heat, the day was starting to take its toll. However heads started to turn with Vietnam running out convincing winners, setting up a Semi-final berth against the Hong Kong Dragons.
Depleted but determined, the Swans were still confident and knew that by playing as they had done throughout the day, it would see them through to their first Manila Cup Grand Final. The Dragons had other ideas however and came out strongly with some silky ball movement and tough contested footy, jumping to a 3-goal lead early in the first half. But in a goliath effort the Swans dug deep and fought their way back into the game with Josh Daly and Kevin Hornblower leading the way. Pegging back the score to be within a goal, the Swans could just not manage to find a way to grab the lead as they struggled to match the fresh legs of Hong Kong. The fairytale was not to be with the Dragons winning by 1 straight kick – 5.4.34 to 4.4.28. While devastated the Swans walked away with heads held high knowing that they left everything out there and played some fantastic football all day.
In some cruel poetic justice the Hong Kong Dragons went on to win the Cup in a fiercely contested game against the Philippine Eagles. Congratulations to both sides and all teams that competed and a big thank you to the PAFL for hosting the event.