THE SYDNEY Swans defeated Gold Coast by 35 points on Sunday afternoon, but have big question marks over the availability of Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett ahead of next week's contest against league leaders Port Adelaide.
Fellow power forward Tippett hobbled off late in the third quarter holding his left knee and was replaced by substitute Jake Lloyd.
Coach John Longmire said structurally the knee was fine, but was not sure on the extent of any damage.
It made little difference to the final outcome as the Swans proved too big, too strong and too classy in the 17.7 (109) to 10.14 (74) victory.
It was their seventh win in succession and moves them to third place, two wins behind Port Adelaide.
Longmire was relieved to leave the Gold Coast with the premiership points.
"They're not an easy team to beat anywhere, but especially not here," he said.
"They've got their strongest team of the year.
"To beat a team who has won the same games as you, virtually at full strength, we knew it would be a bit of a challenge and they keep working the opposition to the end of the game.
"It wasn't an easy one, but in the end it was a very good win."
Franklin appears to be in trouble after using his left shoulder to bump Cameron as he disposed of the ball near the boundary line, catching the off-balance defender in the head.
Although badly beaten by Sun Steven May in most one-on-one contests, Franklin still finished with three goals in a mixed day.
Harry Cunningham bobbed up with four and Sam Reid kicked three in the first 10 minutes of the third quarter.
But it was the midfield that laid a terrific foundation.
Daniel Hannebery was brilliant with 30 disposals, six clearances and four goal assists.
Josh Kennedy continued his white-hot form with 28 touches and two goals – one from 50m on the boundary line and the other bursting from a stoppage and finishing on the run on the stroke of three-quarter time.
For the Suns, Gary Ablett returned from two quieter weeks to finish with 37 touches, 10 clearances and eight tackles in an enthralling duel with Ben McGlynn, who had 22, seven and nine of his own.
McGlynn left the field in a daze in the last term, apparently concussed in a marking contest with Greg Broughton.
May's backline buddy Rory Thompson completely blanketed goalless Tippett in his first game back in a month from a wrist injury.
The Suns were gallant and lost none of the 21,354 fans who showed up, but were just a class below a premiership favourite.
Suns coach Guy McKenna said it was a big improvement on last week's loss against Adelaide.
"The effort was there. If the effort was like that last week, you probably win the game against Adelaide with all due respect, but good sides like Sydney make you pay," McKenna said.
"Our ability to not find targets and hit the scoreboard … was largely due to Sydney's pressure, which is fantastic for us."
They were often wasteful in front of goal and kicked away any chance of victory in the first half, missing a number of gettable set shots.
Jaeger O'Meara (26) and Harley Bennell (22 and nine marks) were standouts for the Suns.
Lance Franklin eyes a goal but he may face MRP scrutiny after a clash against the Suns. Picture: AFL Media
Gold Coast 1.6 3.9 6.13 10.14 (74)
Sydney Swans 3.3 8.4 13.4 17.7 (109)
Gold Coast: Dixon, Kolodjashnij 2, Cameron, Russell, Ablett, Matera, O’Meara, Lynch
Sydney Swans: Cunningham 4, Franklin, Reid 3, Jetta, Parker, Kennedy 2, Lloyd
Gold Coast: Ablett, Bennell, Thompson, May, Smith
Sydney Swans: Hannebery, Kennedy, Cunningham, McGlynn, Parker
Gold Coast: Nil
Sydney Swans: Tippett (left knee), McGlynn (concussion)
Gold Coast: Matt Shaw on for Clay Cameron in the third quarter
Sydney Swans: Jake Lloyd on for Kurt Tippett at three-quarter time
Umpires: Chamberlain, McInerney, Mitchell