Tanner Bruhn celebrates a goal with Tom Atkins during the R15 match between Geelong and Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on June 22, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG remains firmly in touch with the top eight after kicking six fourth-quarter goals to defeat Melbourne by 15 points in coach Chris Scott's 300th game in charge.

The top-four Dees had come down to Geelong a day early after their bye last week, staying in the region as if on an interstate trip and training on GMHBA Stadium, but it was to no avail as the fast-finishing Cats pushed out to the 11.12 (78) to 8.15 (63) result.

CATS v DEMONS Full match coverage and stats

The win was made more impressive given the absence of Jeremy Cameron from halfway through the first quarter, with the superstar forward sent to hospital after he was knocked out in an accidental collision with teammate Gary Rohan.

Rohan had an eventful match after the incident, leading the charge with three goals and receiving rounds of supporting applause when involved in interchanges.


A rare goal from defender Zach Guthrie – who danced through a host of players – at the start of the last quarter saw the reinvigorated Cats take the lead after a stodgy three quarters in the rain, and from there, the crowd grew in voice and the home team kicked clear.

The rain intensified over the quarter-time break, but Melbourne defender Christian Salem appeared to be playing with a dry footy across half-back. 

He was a key part in Geelong's inability to clear the ball out of its defensive half in the second term, but the Dees frittered away their chances, taking shots from 40-50m in the rain and kicking four straight behinds.

It was a theme throughout the game, as they finished with 15 behinds.

Kysaiah Pickett provided the highlight of the second term, crashing a throw-in and kicking the ball out of mid-air to cut the margin to just one point, after the Cats had led by 15 at quarter-time.


The Dees adjusted more quickly to the wet weather in the opening half, with Geelong struggling to make an impact in attack without its spearhead. 

But the Cats looked at their best on fast breaks, where they were able to bypass the likes of Steven May and Jake Lever and use the pace of Rohan, Gryan Miers and Tyson Stengle to their advantage.


Unsurprisingly, the dogged Brad Close relished the wet conditions and was one of Geelong's best across half-forward, particularly in the opening three quarters when the Cats struggled to find more than a handful of winners on the park.

Defender Tom Stewart, who was Geelong's best, may be in line for a misconduct fine after knocking over a kneeling Jack Viney, who was clutching his hurt shoulder. The Dees skipper seemed to be in significant pain, but played out the game.


Teammate Brodie Grundy also spent a fair chunk of the third quarter in the rooms.

A brutal blow
Jeremy Cameron was stretchered off halfway through the first quarter after getting an accidental shoulder to the head from teammate Gary Rohan in a marking contest. Play was halted for seven minutes, with individual players conducting their own run-throughs in the five-degree drizzly conditions. Injured teammate Patrick Dangerfield said Cameron was responsive and had been sent to hospital for further tests "than what they can do here at the ground".


Midfield battle
Geelong's midfield has been somewhat exposed this year, with prime movers Patrick Dangerfield and Cam Guthrie spending large chunks of the season on the sidelines. Young trio Max Holmes, Tanner Bruhn and Tom Atkins (along with Mark Blicavs) came up against a hardened Dees outfit, even without Clayton Oliver. The size and experience of Jack Viney drove the Dees into attack time and time again, while Christian Petracca racked up the ball at will. But the tide turned in the final quarter, with Bruhn lifting to have a serious influence. 


Salem's purple patch
After an incredibly rough start to the year, dealing with an overactive thyroid and a torn meniscus, the silky Dees rebounder has been building nicely into the season. He was one of Melbourne's best in very difficult conditions, particularly in the first half, and finished with 21 disposals. He will be a key part in the Demons top-four push in the second half of the year.


GEELONG           3.4     4.7     5.10     11.12     (78)
MELBOURNE     2.1     4.8     6.11     8.15     (63)

 Rohan 3, Bruhn 2, Stengle, Hawkins, O.Henry, Z.Guthrie, Blicavs, Duncan
 Pickett 2, Smith 2, Fritsch 2, van Rooyen, Petracca

 Stewart, Close, Bruhn, Rohan, Duncan
Melbourne: Petracca, Viney, Salem, Brayshaw, Lever

Geelong: Cameron (concussion)
Melbourne: Nil 

Geelong: Jack Bowes (replaced Cameron in the first quarter)
Melbourne: Charlie Spargo (replaced Jordon in the third quarter)

Crowd: 19,617 at GMHBA Stadium