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Five talking points: Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans

Highlights: Brisbane Lions v Sydney Swans The Lions and Swans clash in round 7
Rhyce Shaw of the Swans is chaired off by is team mates to celebrate his 200th match after the 2014 AFL round 07 match between the Brisbane Lions and the Sydney Swans at the Gabba, Brisbane on May 03, 2014. (Photo: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Media)
Rhyce Shaw is chaired off after his 200th match
1. No Buddy problem
The Swans did not miss key forwards Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett at the Gabba as 12 goalkickers put their name on the scoresheet. Although Adam Goodes played forward for much of the game, there was no permanent presence in the attacking fifty with midfielders taking it in turns to move forward with great effect. Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker all kicked two and had multiple marks inside 50, with the Lions often left chasing shadows.

2. Life without Browny
The Lions got a glimpse of what life might be like without Jonathan Brown, who missed the match with general soreness. While dominated in all aspects of play by the Swans they did manage 38 inside 50s, from which they accumulated just three marks. With the Demons winning in Adelaide, the Lions are now in line for the first pick in this year’s draft. If they stay propping up the ladder, it will be odds-on a tall forward once again is the first name called out.

3. 'Sauce' a shadow in 2014
Usually one of the Lions’ most consistent players, Daniel Merrett has been far from his best this season. The full-back proved a handful for defenders when thrown forward by the Lions last season but has been largely ineffective in the past two games, playing up the field since returning from suspension. Even at full-back in the first three games of the season, he was far from his best, perhaps leading to his frustrated lashing out at Gold Coast’s David Swallow. The Lions were confident the broken ankle suffered in round 22 of last season would not affect him, but he has not looked the same player since.

4. Nice moment for milestone man
Rhyce Shaw, playing his 200th game, kicked just his second goal in his past 27 matches, capping an all-round effective performance with 27 touches and eight marks. In truth he will have had few easier matches with the Lions applying little pressure as the Swans moved the ball through the midfield at will. It was a match where the Swans’ old guard all showed up, with Goodes kicking three goals (including the first two of the game) and Jarrad McVeigh the best on ground with 35 possessions.

5. Pyke potentially a big loss
Although John Longmire could not have asked for an easier build-up to Friday’s crunch clash with reigning champions Hawthorn, the victory seemed to come at a cost with Mike Pyke limping off with a hamstring injury in the second quarter. The Canadian’s likely absence at the SCG would mean Tom Derickx shouldering the vast majority of the ruck load – another reason why the Swans would be delighted to have Tippett back in the side. Pyke’s early exit meant returnees Sam Reid and Goodes played the whole game, which may have been more of a risk had the game not been comfortably in the bag in the second half.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs