A FAST-STARTING Geelong has proven too strong for Port Adelaide in a 28-point victory at Alberton Oval on Saturday.
South Australian Chloe Scheer starred with four goals as the Cats won 11.4 (70) to 5.12 (42).
POWER v CATS Full match coverage and stats
After the game was played mostly between the arcs early on, Geelong started to dominate.
Scheer did everything right, taking spectacular marks, threading precision kicks through traffic, and snagging a goal in every quarter.
Even when Port Adelaide was kicking out of Geelong's forward 50, the Cats' defensive pressure by the forwards and midfielders ensured the ball stayed in dangerous territory.
Nina Morrison (32 disposals and a goal) ran hot all day but particularly in the first half. The only downside of her game was a high hit on Janelle Cuthbertson in the second quarter which is likely to attract Match Review scrutiny.
Port Adelaide's Indy Tahau did all she could for her side, slotting down forward to help set up a Gemma Houghton goal and sneaking down back to take some strong marks.
But the crowd went silent as she went down with a knee injury, a seemingly innocuous turn while chasing a Geelong player the cause of which is a suspected ACL injury.
"She’ll have scans I think tomorrow, obviously couldn’t take part in the rest of the game, so have got everything crossed for her but just waiting for the scan. Indy’s always positive, been great around the group, so she’s doing okay," Port coach Lauren Arnell said post-match.
With a 36-point margin at half-time, the Cats had the match on their terms.
But the Power came out with a renewed energy in the third quarter, Maria Moloney winning the centre clearance and following up with a second and third effort to get the ball to the top of the goalsquare.
Ashleigh Saint (10 disposals and two goals) won a one-on-one which evolved into a three-on-one, keeping her feet and keeping the ball moving forward to win the contest and sneak through a major.
Morrison was everywhere for Geelong and Scheer continued to dominate the forward line with strong marks and accurate goalkicking.
A quick turn from Saint allowed her to snap her second goal, the last of the third quarter.
The Power had control early in the fourth quarter, having four shots on goal, but it wasn't until the fifth shot they were able to kick a major when Abbey Dowrick took an intercept mark on the 50m arc and sent it to the goalsquare, where Houghton marked and kicked her second goal.
Rachel Kearns set sail for her first goal of the match, but it was Houghton who scored the last goal of the day to get to 49 career majors.
It's not the first time Chloe Scheer has been the goalkicking hero for the Cats, and it won't be the last. Scheer found herself at home on the Alberton deck, kicking a goal in every quarter from all areas of the 50m arc. Her four goals from just eight disposals again proved that she doesn't need much of the footy to be dangerous.
Blink and you missed it
We all know Erin Phillips has an impressive skill set, but she showed off a new one on her list. Phillips went to ground in the second quarter with the ball in hand, and somehow managed to kick it while almost lying down. Best of all, the ball went to the Power's advantage.
"It was a good first half; we’ve been really strong with our first quarters so the aim was to come over here and set the tone from the start, so I was pleased with our first quarter. I suppose the next step for us is the consistency over the four quarters. I had a chat with the group after the game around continuing to mature as a group that is learning the game and the scenarios the game gives you - in-game awareness and decision-making are really important. We’ll learn a lot from that around decision-making in real time; it's all fine to go back to the club and look at vision and dissect and go, ‘See, I told you that would’ve been a better decision’, but it’s too late now, we can’t do that - so can we do that in real time is the next step." - Dan Lowther, Geelong coach
"I think we lacked urgency in offensive and defensive transition (in the first half). We lost a bit of shape around the contest with high pressure, that can happen, but certainly the urgency to close down that uncontested mark - we knew that was coming, we just didn’t get it done in the first half. A bit more urgency without the ball and with the ball I think really changed the game." - Lauren Arnell, Port Adelaide coach
Geelong faces Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday night, while Port Adelaide travels to Mineral Resources Park to face West Coast on Friday night.
PORT ADELAIDE 0.2 1.4 3.7 5.12 (42)
GEELONG 4.2 7.4 9.4 11.4 (70)
Port Adelaide: Houghton 3, Saint 2
Geelong: Scheer 4, Parry 2, Surman, Prespakis, Morrison, Kearns, Darby
Port Adelaide: Dowrick, Houghton, Moloney, Scholz, Saint
Geelong: Morrison, Scheer, A.McDonald, Prespakis, Webster
Port Adelaide: Tahau (knee)
Crowd: 2,132 at Alberton Oval