GEELONG has weathered a mid-game surge from Gold Coast before running away to claim a 34-point win in at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
When the Suns cut the margin to five points early in the third term, the prospect of them claiming a first-ever win at the Cats' home ground looked very real.
CATS v SUNS Full match coverage and stats
But with key forwards Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins and Gary Rohan combining for seven goals, the Cats regathered to win 14.7 (91) to 8.9 (57), improving their win-loss record to 7-3.
On the downside, Geelong will be without Mitch Duncan for next Saturday's MCG clash with Collingwood.
The prime mover was subbed out under the concussion rule at halftime after smashing his head into the turf in a strong tackle from Nick Holman.
There were concerns that fellow midfield ace Cameron Guthrie would also spend time on the sidelines after he came off early in the third quarter clutching his left shoulder, but the 2020 All-Australian was able to return to the fray after receiving medical attention.
The Suns were left to rue inaccuracy in front of goal, with spearhead Ben King's miss from directly in front late in the second quarter proving a real momentum killer.
King still ended the match with three goals, but the Cats got a much better collective return from their big-name forwards, with Cameron booting three goals and Hawkins and Rohan chiming in with two apiece.
Fringe midfielder Quinton Narkle played arguably his best-ever game for Geelong, who was also well served by defender Tom Stewart and skipper Joel Selwood.
The Suns' better players included backman Will Powell and onballer Touk Miller.
Former Cats ruckman Zac Smith kicked what must surely have been the best goal of his 11-year, 116-game career with an unlikely snap late in the second quarter when he was hemmed in on the boundary line.
Gold Coast slipped to 3-7 ahead of a trip to Darwin next Saturday to tackle fellow strugglers Hawthorn.
Duncan down and out
Mitch Duncan is set to miss next week’s clash with Collingwood after suffering a concussion in the second quarter. Duncan had a red-hot start for the Cats, amassing 15 disposals and two goals before being tackled into the turf by Nick Holman. He left the field and didn’t return, and was replaced by medical sub Zach Guthrie. Concussion protocols mean Duncan is certain to miss the next game.
A tale of two Guthries
While injury sub Zach Guthrie was warming up to take to the field, his brother Cam was in danger of needing a medical sub himself. The older Guthrie was crunched in a tackle in the final moments of the second quarter, and came off the field clutching his left shoulder. He later returned to the ground with his shoulder heavily strapped, and kept coy about his prognosis when questioned post-game.
Prodigal Sun returns
When he stepped out onto GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Zac Smith found himself in the peculiar position of both playing for and against his old side. The former Cat originally played for Gold Coast between 2011 and 2015 before heading to the Cattery until 2019. In his first game during his second stint at the Suns, the 206cm tall ruckman booted a goal and managed 22 hitouts.
GEELONG 4.0 6.1 10.3 14.7 (91)
GOLD COAST 1.1 3.6 4.8 8.9 (57)
Geelong: Cameron 3, Duncan 2, Hawkins 2, Rohan 2, Tuohy, Blicavs, Higgins, Close, Bews
Gold Coast: King 3, Corbett, Smith, Greenwood, Miller, Burgess
Geelong: Selwood, Guthrie, Blicavs, Higgins, Narkle, Menegola, Stewart
Gold Coast: Miller, Greenwood, Lukosius, Swallow, King, Powell
Geelong: Duncan (concussion)
Gold Coast: Nil
Geelong: Zach Guthrie (replaced Mitch Duncan)
Gold Coast: Malcolm Rosas (unused)
Crowd: TBC at GMHBA Stadium