A knee injury to co-captain Kieren Jack has cast a shadow over the Swans’ AFL finals campaign despite a comfortable 63-point home win over Gold Coast securing them a top-four spot.
Midfielder Jack was helped off the SCG on Saturday night after he took a hit to his left knee two minutes out from quarter time in the 19.13 (127) to 9.10 (64) victory.
He collided with the shoulder of Danny Stanley after a centre bounce.
Injury prone utility Gary Rohan hobbled off in the final quarter with what appeared to be a right knee issue.
The Swans were 31 points up at the time a limping Jack left and they collectively limped through the two middle quarters.
However, they started and finished impressively, with six goals in the first quarter and eight in the last.
It was their fourth straight win and a third successive score over 125 points following 20-goal efforts against GWS and St Kilda.
They had a 38-point lead early in the second quarter slashed to 14 in the third and the profligate Suns missed at least four decent attempts to make even bigger inroads.
Goals late in the term to Sam Reid and Isaac Heeney gave Sydney a 28-point buffer at the last break and they went on to kick 10 of the last 12 goals against a flagging Suns.
Swans forward spearhead Lance Franklin tallied 13 possessions, six marks and kicked 1.1 in his second match back from a back injury, kicking his only goal late in the last quarter.
Meanwhile, in Perth the Eagles lost hard-running midfielder Chris Masten to a hamstring injury in a 95-point rout of St Kilda.
The Eagles had far too many weapons for the Saints, posting a 18.17 (125) to 4.6 (30) win.
But the loss of Masten is a blow for the second-placed Eagles, who will take on Hawthorn in a qualifying final at Domain Stadium on Friday night.
Masten had only just returned from a two-week suspension for biting, and he appears a long shot to be fit to take on the Hawks in Perth.
It was West Coast’s biggest win over St Kilda, eclipsing the 92-point victory achieved in 2001.
Defender Jeremy McGovern made it through the match, but he was troubled at times by his left shoulder that he injured last week.
Eagles midfielder Matt Priddis enhanced his chances of winning back-to-back Brownlow medals with another standout performance.
Priddis tallied 35 disposals and nine clearances, while Andrew Gaff (36 possessions) and Mark LeCras (four goals) were also key contributors.
Ruckman Nic Naitanui battled with Priddis for best-on-ground honours.
Naitanui kicked three goals and took a spectacular pack mark in the final quarter.
FULL FINALS LINE-UP
Friday September 11
West Coast v Hawthorn at Domain Stadium (8:20pm AEST)
Saturday September 12
Fremantle v Sydney at Domain Stadium (3:20pm AEST)
Western Bulldogs v Adelaide at MCG (7:20pm AEST)
Sunday September 13
Richmond v North Melbourne at MCG (3:20pm AEST)
– with AAP