Oliver Dempsey celebrates during the round 12 match between Geelong and Richmond at GMHBA Stadium, June 1, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

GEELONG has snapped its worst losing streak in 18 years with an unconvincing 30-point win over Richmond, charging home after facing a monumental upset at GMHBA Stadium.

After starting the match as red-hot favourites the Cats trailed by 29 points late in the second quarter, but finally started to lift with two goals just before half-time to trail by 16 points at the main break.

CATS v TIGERS Full match coverage and stats

Geelong slammed through six goals in the third quarter to lead by three points at the final change, finally steamrolling the plucky Tigers in the final term to win 15.9 (99) to 10.9 (69).

After taking the lead for the first time 20 minutes into the third quarter, the Cats dominated the second half, scoring 14.6 to Richmond's 3.2.


The result broke a four-game losing run - their worst in Chris Scott’s 14 seasons as Geelong coach - after starting the season 7-0.

It also allowed the Cats to avoid losing three straight at their Kardinia Park fortress for the first time since 2006.

Although Scott would have been fuming with Geelongs’ first half, he would have been pleased how his side turned the game around.


It was not the Cats' stars such as Tom Stewart, Jeremy Cameron and Mitch Duncan who got them back in the contest.

Athletic forward Ollie Dempsey dominated with three goals and 27 possessions, while Tom Atkins got busy in the midfield.


Former Gold Coast midfielder Jack Bowes surged out of the centre with 10 clearances and was regularly dangerous in his best game for the Cats.

Geelong forward Ollie Henry is facing a stint on the sidelines after being subbed out in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

Two weeks after being pummelled by 119 points by the Brisbane Lions in what coach Adem Yze hoped was rock bottom, Richmond was brave at a venue it had not ventured to since 2017.


But the Tigers were made to pay for some sloppy errors that let Geelong back in the game late in the second quarter.

Dual Richmond premiership utility Marlion Pickett had a dirty night, giving the middle finger to Cats supporters after being subbed out in the last quarter.

Already injury-hit, Richmond will be sweating on scans to Mykelti Lefau after the forward landed awkwardly and was taken off in the final term clutching his knee.


The Tigers slumped to 1-11 with an eighth consecutive defeat - their worst losing streak since 2010, triple premiership coach Damien Hardwick's first season in charge.

The Tigers keep coming
Richmond used its 40th player for the season when starting substitute Kaleb Smith took to the field on Saturday night. Other clubs in the injury spotlight Carlton and Collingwood have used just 33 players each this year, while ladder-leader Sydney has had only 27 different players line up at AFL level, showing the benefits of a consistent team list. The Tigers' two key position mid-season draftees Jacob Blight (20 disposals, nine marks) and Campbell Gray (13 disposals, seven marks, two goals) both impressed in the VFL on Saturday so, with Mykelti Lefau in doubt after a late knee injury, maybe number 41 isn't too far away.

Kaleb Smith during the round 12 match between Geelong and Richmond at GMHBA Stadium, June 1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Cracks are showing in the fortress walls
There's no doubt that, at the moment, the Cattery has lost the knee-shaking aura it has held for decades. After losses to interstate challengers Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney in the last two starts at the venue, Geelong needed to make a statement against the injury-savaged Richmond. At the final siren the Cats had the four points but it took them till the closing stages to overcome a depleted opponent, a result that will see teams travel down the Princes Highway on more than a hope and a prayer.

Max Holmes during the round 12 match between Geelong and Richmond at GMHBA Stadium, June 1, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

A reminder that our ball can do strange things
With everything against them - injuries, results, playing away - The Tigers were going to need Lady Luck on their side on Saturday night, and it seems Noah Cumberland must be dating her judging by his goal to start the second quarter. A heated contest in the pocket saw the ball squeezed out by Mykelti Lefau and landing in Cumberland's hands. The Tigers forward spun, falling to the ground fortuitously under a Tom Stewart tackle, bounced back to his feet still turning, and threw the ball onto his left foot. It bounced towards the goal but looked well covered by Jake Kolodjashnij, only to take a final bounce high in the air and over the defender's head.


GEELONG       2.2    5.3    11.5    15.9 (99)
RICHMOND    4.3    7.7    10.8    10.9 (69)

Geelong: Dempsey 3, Hawkins 2, Neale, Holmes, Neale, Stengle, Z.Guthrie, Cameron, Hawkins, Close, Bruhn, Bowes
Richmond: Ryan 2, Martin 2, Lefau 2, Mansell, Cumberland, Campbell, Baker

Geelong: Duncan, Holmes, Dempsey, Bowes, Stewart
Richmond: Baker, Graham, McAuliffe, Rioli, Martin

Geelong: O.Henry (hamstring)
Richmond: Lefau (knee), Pickett (calf)

Geelong: Gary Rohan, replaced Oliver Henry in the third quarter
Richmond: Kaleb Smith, replaced Marlion Pickett in the fourth quarter

Crowd: 31,054 at GMHBA Stadium