Report: Lions break their decade long drought

Just like records, droughts are meant to be broken. Some have stood the test of time, others will stand the test of time, while others will always be broken.

The Brisbane Lions finally broke a decade-long drought against the Swans on Saturday afternoon, beating them for the first time this decade - the first time since 2009.

Kieren Jack and Daniel Rich are the only players left standing from that match, while Swans defenders Heath Grundy and Nick Smith also played, but missed this week through injury.

With rain pouring at different stages during the match, the Lions held off a dogged and occasionally desperate Swans to record their fifth win of the year, 14.19 (103) to 12.9 (81).

In the process of beating beating the Swans, the Lions passed another major exam, putting itself in a position to play finals football for the fist time since 2011.

Following heavy losses to Collingwood and Essendon, the Lions got their season back on track with a convincing 49-point Q-Clash win against the Suns.

The nature of the win against the Swans will please Brisbane's coaching staff and supporters, while the Swans will be left to wonder what might have happened.

The loss puts the Swans firmly out of the finals race, equaling their 2017 start to the season, cementing their place at the bottom of the ladder.

It's unfamiliar territory for the Swans, who are at their lowest ebb on-field since 1994.

The Swans had little answer for Dayne Zorko (29 disposals, 11 tackles), who lead brilliantly from the front, while Lachie Neale (29 disposals and 7 clearances) and Mitch Robinson (22 disposals, one goal) were at the heart of everything.

Ruckman Stefan Martin (21 disposals, 33 hit outs) was a menace all game, easily beating Callum Sinclair (15 disposals, 23 hit outs), while Hugh McCluggage (24 disposals, 2 goals) proved a thorn too big for Sydney's defenders.

George Hewett was immense for the Swans, picking up 34 disposals - 24 contested, going at 80 percent disposal efficiency, while Josh Kennedy bagged a goal to go with his 31 disposals and 9 clearances.

The Swans coughed up a 28-point quarter time lead, with the Lions utterly dominating the midfield battle.

George Hewett was prolific for the Swans early on with 11 first-quarter disposals, but the gap to the next best was more a chasm than a crack.

Tom McCartin's strong contested mark deep into the first quarter and converted goal, broke a run of 5 unanswered Lions goals; it was Sydney's first mark inside 50 and first goal.

Off the back of a stirring quarter-time address from John Longmire, the Swans came out of the first break breathing fire, threatening to steal the match from the Lions.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/1124576701080428544

The 28-point deficit turned into a 4-point lead for the Swans, as they booted six of the next seven goals.

Will Hayward, returning from a broken jaw suffered in Round 3, provided a rare forward-half target, booting two goals, while Jackson Thurlow was rebounding everything out of defence.

As the conditions turned slippery, the Lions' bigger bodies turned the match back in their favour, dominating the second half.

Only inaccurate kicking prevented a larger margin.

Brisbane had the ball camped in their forward half for the entire second half of the match, recording a phenomenal 46-20 inside 50s, but could only manage 7 goals to 5.

The Lions dominated the contested ball (184-142) and clearances (53-42) throughout the match, and enjoyed the rub of the green with the umpires too (27-17 free kicks).

After years of being manhandled by the bigger Swans, the Lions stood up and beat them at the coalface.

With the game in the balance late in the third quarter, with the Swans trailing by just three points, the Lions finally converted their territory dominance on the scoreboard.

Late goals to Eric Hipwood and Charlie Cameron just about broke the Swans' back, while goals to Hugh McCluggage and Mitch Robinson put an end to the contest.

Tom Papley was unbelievable for the Swans in the second half of the match, booting four goals.

https://twitter.com/AFL/status/1124599381129220096

Sydney were gutsy all night and made the most of their forward-half entries, scoring in more than half of their inside 50s, and converting goals 30 percent of the time.

NEXT UP

The Swans have a quick turnaround for next round, hosting Essendon at the SCG next Friday night. Lance Franklin is an outside chance to play, while Harry Cunningham will miss through injury.

SYDNEY 1.2  7.6  10.6  12.9 (81)
BRISBANE 5.6  7.8  11.15  14.19 (103)

Injuries

Harry Cunningham suffered a torn adductor (groin) late in the third quarter.

Reports

Nil

GOALS

SYDNEY: Papley (4), Hayward (2), Dawson, Heeney, McCartin, Florent, Kennedy, Lloyd
BRISBANE: McStay (2), Cameron (2), Hipwood (2), McCluggage (2), Rich, Cutler, Berry, Rayner, Robinson, Zorko

BEST

SYDNEY: Hewett, Papley, Aliir, Kennedy, Parker, Jones
BRISBANE: Zorko, Robinson, McCluggage, Rich, Neale, Berry

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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