Tom Hawkins celebrates a goal during Geelong's clash against Adelaide in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

IN THE space of 10 third-quarter minutes, Tom Hawkins took the game away from Adelaide on Friday night, before milestone man Tom Stewart iced a 19-point win for Geelong with a defensive masterclass.

With the Crows having run down an early 25-point deficit to hit the lead during the third term, Hawkins piled on three of the Cats' next four goals to give his team breathing space.

CROWS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

They held off a strong fourth-quarter challenge from Adelaide to win 14.12 (96) to 11.11 (77) and make it two from two in 2024.

While Hawkins changed the game in the blink of an eye, it was Stewart in his 150th that owned Adelaide Oval, the perfect architect as the Cats controlled play for much of the night.


Despite the attention of Luke Pedlar early on, the five-time All-Australian took three early intercept marks to set the tone – and he didn't slow down.

Stewart finished with an equal AFL record 10 intercept marks from his 28 disposals to completely control Geelong's back half.

His ball use was also exquisite, with a disposal efficiency of 89 per cent.


Adelaide fought hard until the end, squandering some late chances to make it genuinely close, but like last week against Gold Coast, it was too little, too late.

Gryan Miers was also magnificent for Geelong, kicking three goals from his 26 disposals, that also included two goal assists. Max Holmes (24), Patrick Dangerfield (23) and Mark Blicavs (21) were also influential.

Geelong wasted no time quietening the bumper home crowd, racing to a 19-point lead at quarter-time.


The Cats' midfield gave their opponents no time or space, and with Stewart marking everything, they lived in the front half of the ground.

And their small forwards feasted.

Miers kicked two early goals and set up Jeremy Cameron for another, while mature-age recruit Shaun Mannagh ticked off a milestone by kicking his first major in the big time.

Adelaide wrestled back momentum in the second quarter, but after two early goals to reduce the margin to eight points, just couldn't make further inroads.


They generated 24 inside 50s to 11 for the term, but squandered chances with poor entries and poor finishing, none more so than Chris Burgess' miss from 15m out on a slight angle.

Matt Crouch (38 disposals), Rory Laird (29) and Jordan Dawson (26 and 12 tackles) worked hard all night.


Hawkins takes the game away in a flash
After Izak Rankine kicked a trademark goal from a forward 50 stoppage to give Adelaide the lead, Tom Hawkins said enough was enough. He flushed a set shot from 50, took a strong contested mark deep in the forward pocket from the ensuing centre clearance, and shortly after snapped truly on the left boot from 30m. It was 10 minutes of chaos that also included a goal from Ollie Henry, and suddenly the crowd was quiet and the Cats were racing to victory. 


Too little too late, again, for the Crows
Just like last week against Gold Coast, Adelaide left itself too much work to do. After hitting the lead midway through the third, it was unable to stop the Hawkins rampage and trailed by four goals heading into the last. It got within 16 points, but Darcy Fogarty's miss from the top of the goalsquare, Taylor Walker's hurried snap that went wide, and Reilly O'Brien's dropped mark 50m from goal typified the lack of polish with the game up for grabs. The Crows are 0-2 and now face a trip west to face Fremantle.


Tom Stewart drops early MOTY contender
He played an almost flawless game in his 150th, but Tom Stewart proved he was human during the third quarter when he dropped what would have been an early contender for Mark of the Year. Stewart launched high on to the shoulders of Luke Pedlar on centre wing, and with what appeared perfect judgement and a spectacular grab imminent, let the ball slip through his grasp. Maybe he got dizzy up there.



ADELAIDE          3.2     5.5       8.7     11.11 (77)
GEELONG           6.3     7.5     12.7     14.12 (96)

Adelaide: Walker 2, Rankine 2, Fogarty 2, Burgess 2, Soligo, Rachele, O'Brien
Hawkins 4, Miers 3, O.Henry 2, Cameron 2, Stengle, Mannagh, Close

Adelaide: Crouch, Dawson, Hinge, Laird, Worrell, O'Brien
Stewart, Miers, Dangerfield, Hawkins, Blicavs, Holmes

Adelaide: Nil
Dangerfield (hamstring)

Adelaide: Nil
Mitch Duncan (personal reasons) and Tom Atkins (adductor) replaced by Brandan Parfitt and Mitch Knevitt

Adelaide: Ned McHenry (replaced Sam Berry in the third quarter)
Mitch Knevitt (replaced Patrick Dangerfield in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 44,758 at Adelaide Oval