“We lost because their midfield could walk around ours without having to worry about any pressure”. of itself does not explain losing in general . We only lost clearances overall by 6. ( but in the second quarter we lost most clearances which is when the damage was done )
My assertion is that when Sydney won a clearance and kicked it inside 50, we lost contested marking duels far more frequently. When we kicked the ball forward they marked the ball ( intercepts ) more often than us.
Sydneys aerial supremacy meant instead of halving marking contests we lost possession, our small forwards never got into the game from contested situations.
Its never one thing, but no, I still maintain Sydneys dominance of the air enabled them to gain the lead and maintain it.
Averaged over the year Sydney were second in the comp for contested marks, we were 6th.
They were brilliant in the air . Lets face it.