Lance Franklin’s booming left foot got Sydney underway before Dane Rampe led a rampant Swans outfit in a 49-point domination of Gold Coast to begin their AFL season.
The visitors won 16.14 (110) 9.7 (61) at Heritage Bank Stadium on Saturday night, becoming just the second beaten grand finalist in seven years to win their opening game.
Twelve different Swans kicked goals but none managed more than two, while Rampe (25 touches) defied the slippery, humid conditions to have 20 disposals at halftime.
Chad Warner (30), Jake Lloyd (28) and Dylan Stephens (27) took up the slack after that.
That spread sparked a team-wide display of pressure that rattled the Suns early, with points from turnovers killing Stuart Dew’s men.
The contest was effectively over inside 20 minutes, the Swans kicking the game’s first five goals and Franklin the opening couple.
The 36-year-old, in his 19th and final season, marked over the head of Sam Collins and boomed the opener high into the stands.
Then his set shot straightened to send Sydney on their way, Franklin overtaking Barry Hall to move to third on the club’s goal-scoring chart in a sparkling first 10 minutes.
He remained heavily involved in a dominant term for the hosts that was tempered by two late Suns goals.
David Swallow’s snap then skipped through to begin the third term and suddenly Gold Coast were only 15 behind.
The host’s stepped up their pressure but had nothing to show for it, Harry Cunningham and Isaac Heeney’s goals hefty blows for the Suns to swallow.
Tom Papley added to his highlight reel with two pearlers, his first goal off the outside of his right foot in traffic and the second on the run to open the third term.
Logan McDonald then ran into an open goal and launched the ball into the stadium roof in an emphatic act that all-but broke the hosts.
Oliver Florent caught Gold Coast’s defence napping to add another and Errol Gulden skipped a major through to make it a 48-point lead.
Back for his first AFL game since 2021, Ben King had to wait until the third quarter for his first kick.
But from deep in the pocket it was long and straight for a Suns goal in front of 13,648 fans.
He then put his body on the line to deflect a loose ball towards Ben Ainsworth for the first of his two final-quarter goals.
Suns ruckman Jarrod Witts battled hard while it took Touk Miller (29 touches) and Matt Rowell (28) until the third term to get their hands on the ball with any authority and Sam Flanders (16 disposals) also kicked two goals.
Franklin may have a case to answer after making high contact on Collins in the final quarter.