Shannon Neale celebrates a goal during the match between Geelong and North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium in R5, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG has gone 5-0 for the first time since 2017 after dispatching hapless North Melbourne in a 75-point rout at the Cats' GMHBA Stadium fortress.

The hosts were never threatened after kicking the first three goals of Sunday afternoon's match, extending their lead at every break to win 21.13 (139) to 10.4 (64).


Geelong joins Greater Western Sydney as the only teams to remain undefeated after five rounds.


Superstar forward Jeremy Cameron snared six goals, making the most of Tom Hawkins' absence after the veteran forward was managed out of the side just an hour before the first bounce.

Speedster Max Holmes was tremendous with two goals and 24 possessions, young tall Shannon Neale (three goals) had the best outing of his six-game career, and Brad Close slotted four majors.


Geelong shared the love with five multiple goalkickers, as small forward Tyson Stengle was again lively with two goals after a welcome return to form in kicking four last week.


There were few bright spots for North following its 70-point thumping by Brisbane last week, but young forward Eddie Ford took his chances with an equal career-high three goals.

Star forward Nick Larkey kicked two goals from tough positions as he continued to perform to a high standard in a poorly-functioning team - possibly the AFL's version of Allan Border making runs in the Australian cricket side of the 1980s.


Colby McKercher, North's first selection in last year's draft, was subbed out at quarter-time after a hit to the ribs in the first term. The first-year Roo was in visible discomfort and was sent to hospital for further assessment.


When the Cats last won the first five games of a season seven years ago, they made a preliminary final before losing to Adelaide.

After playing just one finalist from last year so far this season, Geelong will face a far sterner test next Saturday night when they take on the resurgent Brisbane at the Gabba.


But with captain Patrick Dangerfield and Hawkins still to return, Cats fans can start dreaming of another potential premiership to add to their 2022 crown.

The Kangaroos will set themselves for a shot at their first win of the season when they face fellow strugglers Hawthorn next Sunday.


No Tomahawk, no worries for rampaging Cats
Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins was a late withdrawal ahead of the clash, with the Cats opting to manage the veteran forward against the lowly Roos. Young forward Shannon Neale slotted seamlessly into the side as Hawkins' replacement. The 21-year-old, who had only kicked one goal in his five career games at the top level, rose to the occasion with three goals and a further six score involvements. But Neale wasn't the only one to fire up forward in Hawkins' absence, with partner in crime Jeremy Cameron kicking six goals, including four in the first half, as he ran rings around North's depleted backline.


Sheezel delights again in a grim day for Roos
There wasn't a lot for the Roos to celebrate, but Rising Star winner Harry Sheezel continues to be a rare shining light. The 19-year-old fought valiantly and was a clear best afield for his side in the thumping loss. Sheezel finished with 39 disposals (including a career-high 12 in the opening term alone) at 82 per cent efficiency, 15 marks, 525m gained and he kicked a goal late to top off his day. We all know Sheezel is going to be superstar, but he's going to need a few of his teammates to come along for the ride if North is to find a way out of the wilderness.

Cats' hot streak rolls on
The victory ensured Geelong continued its remarkable winning streak over North Melbourne. The Cats have now reigned supreme in their past 12 games against the Kangaroos, a streak stretching back to 2016. It's the second-longest current winning streak in the League with Port Adelaide's dominance over Gold Coast currently sitting at 14 games. North has a chance to end the rot later in the season when it meets Geelong again in round 20.


GEELONG                       5.2    12.6     15.10    21.13 (139)  
NORTH MELBOURNE     3.1     4.3      6.4        10.4 (64)  

Geelong: Cameron 6, Close 4, Neale 3, Holmes 2, Stengle 2, Blicavs, Dempsey, Henry, O'Connor
North Melbourne:
Ford 3, Drury 2, Larkey 2, Curtis, Davies-Uniacke, Sheezel

Geelong: Cameron, Holmes, Miers, Stengle, Bowes, Stewart
North Melbourne:
Sheezel, Xerri, Scott, Ford, Davies-Uniacke

Geelong: Nil
North Melbourne:
McKercher (ribs)

Geelong: Tom Hawkins, replaced in the selected side by Shannon Neale
North Melbourne:

Geelong: Jhye Clark (replaced Mark Blicavs in the fourth quarter)
North Melbourne: Charlie Lazzaro (replaced Colby McKercher in the second quarter)

Crowd: 31,194 at GMHBA Stadium