IN THE absence of injured Callum Mills, Sydney's defence stood up under intense pressure on Saturday night, but coach John Longmire says there's plenty to work on elsewhere following a tight win over Brisbane.

The Swans won by 18 points to move into the top four but had to withstand a final quarter deluge of inside 50s from a home team that could sniff an upset.

Brisbane kicked 2.6 to 2.1 from 21 inside 50s as Sydney repelled attack after attack.

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With Mills breaking his foot in a freak accident earlier this week, the new-look Swans' defensive set-up passed their first test, led by the cool heads of Heath Grundy, Jarrad McVeigh, Zak Jones and the impressive Jake Lloyd.

Longmire said the back six covered for some mistakes further afield.

"We put our defenders under the pump too much in that last quarter," Longmire said.

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"We got beaten around the clearances (52-40) too much at times and weren't as consistent around there as what we should have been, in particular that last quarter.

"We put our defence under pressure, but they stood up really well and were able to prevent some goal-scoring opportunities for the opposition."

George Hewett (10) and captain Josh Kennedy (seven) were the only players with more than four clearances as the midfield battled to break even against a Lions team spearheaded by Mitch Robinson (13) and Dayne Beams (nine) in that department.

Stefan Martin hammered Callum Sinclair in the ruck to give his team the best opportunity of using the ball first.

Longmire was also disappointed with his team's discipline, giving away 30 free kicks to 25.

"We didn't adjust to the whistle as quickly as we should have," he said.

"It was red-hot around that scramble.

"We'll acknowledge what we did well. We thought our defence really stood up in that last quarter.

"We were happy with some aspects of our game but most importantly we were happy with the win.

"Brisbane, here, they're not an easy team to get over.
"They've got some talent, they go in hard, they had 80-plus tackles tonight.

"We feel that was a really tough game and to come away with a win, we're pleased with that."