Swans hold on for AFL win over Lions

Laine Clark
Swans hold on for AFL win over Lions

Winning may not be a habit for Brisbane - in fact, the AFL club can't even spell it.

But the plucky Lions still gave Sydney a scare before top-five outfit the Swans held on for a 10.7 (67) to 6.3 (49) victory at a wet Gabba to maintain their nine-year hoodoo.

Dayne Beams (38 touches) was inspirational for Brisbane on Saturday, just days after stepping down from the captaincy due to personal issues, but it wasn't enough to stop Sydney notching their 11th straight win over the Lions.

Brisbane only earned their first victory of the year last round by thrashing Hawthorn, ending an eight-game losing run and nine-year drought against the Hawks.

Still, it was no excuse for not being able to spell "winning" on Saturday.

Brisbane were left red-faced after the team ran through a banner before the match that read: "Hear the Gabba crowd roar as the Lions kick the winnig score."

Brisbane recovered quickly and surprisingly matched the Swans in the wet but in the end could not crack Sydney's airtight defence in front of 18,702 fans.

Brisbane haven't beaten Sydney since round 22, 2009.

The Lions lost despite winning the clearances (52-40), stoppages (42-30), inside 50s (56-51), tackles (81-59) and hitouts (81-59).

"They're a good team. Just look at what they're doing and how they're playing," Swans coach John Longmire said.

"We've been scouting them closely and we knew it was going to be a real battle."

Beams (16 contested touches, nine clearances, one goal), ruckman Stefan Martin (58 hitouts) and Mitch Robinson (35 touches) were inspirational for the hosts.

For Sydney, Josh Kennedy stood tall with 34 touches, 23 contested possessions and six tackles while Heeney, Hayward and Ben Ronke kicked two goals each.

"We didn't make the most of our opportunities," Lions coach Chris Fagan said.

"We proved, though, that we could play against a big-bodied side in conditions that probably suited them more than us.

"We really toughed it out and I loved that about our performance tonight."

A string of melees marred the first term as Sydney held on for a 3.0 (18) to 2.2 (14) buffer.

Isaac Heeney kicked back-to-back goals as the Swans extended their halftime lead to 18 points after restricting Brisbane to one behind in the second term.

Star Lance Franklin (1.2) kicked his first goal of the match, and sole major for the game, in the third term as the Swans led 8.6 (54) to 4.7 (31) at the final interval.

Brisbane surged in the last quarter but Kieran Jack iced Sydney's fourth win in five games with a major from a costly 50m penalty by Jarrod Berry in the final minutes.

The match ended with yet more niggle, with a scuffle between Brisbane's Darcy Gardiner and Sydney's Will Hayward escalating quickly.