No Jonathan Brown. No Lance Franklin.
And in the end, it was no contest as Sydney thumped dead-last Brisbane 18.15 (123) to 6.8 (44) at the Gabba on Saturday night to break back into the AFL top eight for the first time this season.
Brisbane needed all the help they could get to break their hoodoo against Sydney, even after the Swans opted to rest $10 million man Franklin (knee) and again keep Kurt Tippett (rib) on ice.
Brisbane’s odds of notching their first win over the Swans since 2009 lengthened when Lions coach Justin Leppitsch sidelined a fatigued Brown.
And their fortunes did not improve as the Swans held off early resistance to seal their 16th win in 18 games against Brisbane dating back to 2004.
The third straight win by Sydney (4-3) extended the 2014 woes of cellar dwellers Brisbane (1-6).
The Lions started the game still buzzing from their season’s maiden win – last round’s three-point victory over St Kilda.
However, back-to-back goals to Australian of the Year Adam Goodes helped Sydney grab a 12-point lead by the first break.
The hosts cut the deficit in the second to just nine before the Swans took flight, banging in four unanswered majors to jump to an 8.8 (56) to 3.5 (23) lead at the main interval.
When Rhyce Shaw – in his 200th game – slammed home Sydney’s sixth straight major, and the Swans’ second overall for the third term, the visitors cruised to a 45-point lead.
Then it became ugly.
Sydney extended their lead to 14.11 (95) to 5.6 (36) by the final interval before finishing all over the top of the hosts in front of 17,957 fans.
For the Swans, Goodes kicked three goals and Jarrad McVeigh had 35 touches.
For the Lions, Tom Rockliff had 30 disposals and a goal.