Highlights: West Coast v Geelong
The Eagles and the Cats clash in round 21
Joel Selwood reminds brother Scott who's on top at the moment
GEELONG has sewn up a top-four spot and sent a statement to its rivals with a 66-point thrashing of West Coast in wet conditions at Patersons Stadium.
The Cats won 16.11 (107) to 6.5 (41) in front of 34,394 fans who braved the horrible weather.
West Coast's misery was compounded when Dean Cox was reported for an off-the-ball clash with Joel Selwood in the third quarter. It is just the second time Cox has been reported in his 271-game career.
Geelong's running brigade was simply awesome, led by Selwood with an equal career-best four goals to go with his 29 touches, while Allen Christensen, Mathew Stokes, James Kelly, Jimmy Bartel and Steve Johnson ran riot through the middle.
The Cats' defence was frugal too. The Eagles were held to their lowest score at Patersons Stadium and the miserly Harry Taylor held Coleman Medal favourite Josh Kennedy scoreless for the first time this season.
Scott Selwood had 26 touches and 11 tackles to lead the Eagles and Sharrod Wellingham was prolific with 29 possessions and a goal in his 100th game, but the Eagles had few winners on the night.
The Cats set the tone early with a blistering first 13 minutes. They kicked five goals to one behind in a vintage Geelong display.
Heavy rain before the game ensured it was played in greasy conditions and the Cats' superior ball-handling, dare and dash blew the Eagles away.
"Maybe the slippery conditions helped us a little bit but kicking the first four or five goals gets the momentum going your way.
"I thought even more important than that was the way we played. I think we played the style of footy that wins you finals which is pretty important at this time of the year."
The Cats had 25 more disposals and 13 more tackles to quarter-time and thoroughly deserved their 24-point lead.
The second term was even more one-sided after a five-minute burst of rain. The Cats kicked five unanswered goals, including two clever efforts from James Kelly, to establish a 56-point break at half-time.
The Cats kicked all of their 11 goals in the first half from general play, while holding the Eagles to their lowest half-time score of the year: 2.3 (20).
"Geelong came out slick and classy and they maintained it for the whole first half but the first 10 minutes set the standard," Eagles coach John Worsfold said.
"We fought on hard in that second half but the damage was obviously done. They were just way too good for us in that opening half."
Motlop was subbed out of the game at half-time as a precaution due to hamstring tightness but his absence didn't blunt Geelong razor-sharp attack.
Selwood filled the breach with two goals for the quarter, adding to his two from the opening half. It was the fourth time in five matches he's kicked three goals or more, a mark he had achieved just once in his previous 150 matches.
"He's pushing forward a little bit more and he's finishing really well," Scott said.
"I would regard him as a pretty complete midfielder."
Eagles midfielder Luke Shuey endured a low-key return from three weeks out with hamstring injury, gathering just seven touches before being substituted for Andrew Embley in the third term.
Embley himself won a late reprieve when Chris Masten was withdrawn pre-game with a thigh problem.
"Shuey was going to start as the sub until Masten got injured. So we decided we'd still play him 60 minutes," Worsfold said.
Steven Motlop was outstanding in Geelong's first-half blitz of West Coast. Picture: AFL Media
WEST COAST 2.1 2.3 4.5 6.5 (41)
GEELONG 6.1 11.5 15.9 16.11 (107)
West Coast: Wellingham, Hill, Dalziell, Schofield, S Selwood, Darling
Geelong: J Selwood 4, Podsiadly 2, Kelly 2, Stokes 2, Motlop 2, Christensen, Vardy, Walker, Murdoch
West Coast: J Selwood, Christensen, Mackie, Stokes, Bartel, Kelly, S Johnson
Geelong: Wellingham, S Selwood, Priddis, Glass, Cox
West Coast: Masten (thigh) replaced in selected side by Embley
Geelong: Motlop (hamstring tightness), Walker (wrist)
West Coast: Andrew Embley replaced Luke Shuey in the third quarter.
Geelong: Josh Caddy replaced Steven Motlop at half-time.
Reports: Dean Cox (WC) reported for striking Joel Selwood in the third quarter.
Umpires: Margetts, Stewart, Kamolins
Official crowd: 34,394 at Patersons Stadium