If Sydney has any lingering effects from last year's Grand Final hammering, it didn't show it on Saturday night, thumping Gold Coast by 49 points at Heritage Bank Stadium.

The Swans could hardly have been more impressive in the 16.14 (110) to 9.7 (61) triumph, kicking the game's first five goals and completely shutting the SUNS out of the match.

The only question mark over the outing could come for their champion forward Lance Franklin who appeared to collect Sam Collins high in the final quarter. 

Sydney's midfield outplayed its opponents as Chad Warner (match-high 30 touches and 14 score involvements) picked up from where he left off last year, and Luke Parker (25), Errol Gulden (24) and wingman Dylan Stephens (27) all had big impacts.

They forced Gold Coast into turnover after turnover and feasted on the counterattack, leading by 21 points at quarter-time, 29 at the half and 46 at the final change.

The SUNS battled, but were reactive early and struggled to move the ball with any fluency against the well-organised Swans.

Jarrod Witts (25 and 10 clearances) was their best player, while Matt Rowell (28) was also tireless.

Sydney was all over the hosts in the opening quarter, kicking the first five goals to set up a match winning advantage.

Whether it was at the contest or away from it, the Swans jumpers outnumbered their SUNS counterparts and ensured the ball was camped inside their forward 50.

Franklin kicked two goals inside the first four minutes and set up another for Stephens as Sydney mounted a 33-point lead that looked like growing even further.

However, with Rowell, Noah Anderson and Touk Miller arresting the momentum, Gold Coast kicked two late goals to breathe life into its chances.

After an early goal to David Swallow in the second term reduced the margin to 14 points, the visitors again assumed control.

Rampe was magnificent in defence, patrolling any Gold Coast forward forays with his expert positioning leading to 10 intercepts (of his 20 disposals) by half-time.

Return of the King

After an 18-month absence from the AFL following a knee reconstruction, Gold Coast forward Ben King made his long-awaited return. With the SUNS battling to get the ball forward early on, he was starved of opportunities in the slippery conditions. However, the 22-year-old provided one highlight in the third term when he got on the end of a Jack Lukosius pass and went back to slot a goal from close to the boundary line. King finished with five disposals, including a nice assist for Ben Ainsworth.

GOLD COAST             2.1       3.2       6.4       9.7 (61)

SYDNEY         5.4       7.7       13.10  16.14 (110)

Gold Coast:
 Flanders 2, Ainsworth 2, Swallow, King, Holman, Jeffrey, Anderson
Sydney: Papley 2, Franklin 2, McDonald 2, Cunningham 2, Stephens, Mills, McLean, Lloyd, Heeney, Hayward, Gulden, Florent

Gold Coast:
 Witts, Rowell, Long, Ainsworth
Sydney: Rampe, Warner, Stephens, Papley, Gulden, Lloyd

Gold Coast:
 Collins (head)
Sydney: Nil 

Gold Coast: Brayden Fiorini (replaced Levi Casboult in the third quarter)
Sydney: Matt Roberts (replaced Peter Ladhams in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 13,648 at Heritage Bank Stadium