Lachlan Cowan celebrates a goal during Carlton's clash against Geelong in round 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

THERE are 10 De Koning siblings, but the two who play in the AFL squared off in a heavyweight bout on Friday night, with Tom beating Sam in the ruck to lead Carlton to a dominant 63-point win over Geelong at the MCG. 

Each side had a pair of brothers in the same jumper – Ollie and Jack Henry for Geelong, Ollie and Elijah Hollands for Carlton – but it was the De Koning brothers who were the main event on a night where the Blues consolidated second spot on the ladder and sent a statement. 

BLUES v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Michael Voss' side led from the moment Tom outworked his younger brother inside 50 to kick Carlton's first goal 90 seconds in. It never relinquished the lead and was never threatened after the first 40 minutes, handing Geelong a sixth loss from seven games – a 21.12 (138) to 11.9 (75) result – to put the Cats' spot in the eight in jeopardy for the first time in 2024. 

Tom De Koning picked up where he left off before the Blues' mid-season bye, finishing with 34 hitouts, 25 disposals, 20 contested possessions, seven clearances, 10 score involvements and a goal to take the points against his younger brother Sam. 


After starting the season with four straight wins, the Blues have now won four consecutive games again to bank a 10th win, moving a game clear of Collingwood and six points ahead of Essendon, which faces West Coast at Marvel Stadium on Sunday. 

All-Australian midfielders Patrick Cripps (41 disposals, 18 contested possessions and 13 clearances) and Sam Walsh (33 disposals, nine clearances and 603 metres gained) feasted on De Koning's silver service at the coalface. 


With Chris Scott leaving Rhys Stanley out of the 23 and Toby Conway remaining in the VFL, it was De Koning v De Koning who met in the middle of the ground before the first bounce in a surprise move from the Cats. Tom set the tone from the outset, much to the delight of Carlton players who went after Sam. When Charlie Curnow nailed the second a minute later, the Blues had the fast start on the back of ruck dominance. 


Patrick Dangerfield, in his first game in two months, got involved early with a crunching tackle on Walsh, but the Cats skipper might face some MRO scrutiny. It took a dribbling finish from Zach Tuohy to put the Cats on the board, enraging the Carlton faithful who booed the former Blue. Max Holmes added a second to settle the Cats after a start where they couldn't get their hands on the ball. 

Geelong only just held on in the first quarter with Tom Stewart v Alex Cincotta symbolic of the unfolding contest. The in-form Carlton tagger pinched a goal and pinched the points early in a sign of what was to come. 


Telstra AFL Rising Star contender Ollie Dempsey marked and played on two minutes into the second quarter to reduce the margin to two goals and Jeremy Cameron got involved shortly afterwards to get going with his first goal, but that was a rare patch of momentum. 

Matt Owies kicked three first-half goals amid a run of seven straight goals, before Cameron ended that streak with a goal after the siren from outside 50.


Cincotta started the second half in Stewart's shadows and rubbed some salt in the champion defender's wounds by kicking the opening goal of the second half after intercepting a poor pass by Jake Kolodjashnij and making him pay. 

De Koning and De Koning sounds like a Dutch law firm or marketing agency, but the battle continued after the main break with the older brother maintaining his dominance over the premiership Cat. 

Cameron kicked three behinds in the third quarter, as the margin remained north of 40 points, but then Geelong made the most of its chances, kicking three straight goals to remain in the contest at the final change.  

That glimmer of hope was extinguished early in the last quarter when Matt Kennedy kicked the first goal of the term, before the Blues added three successive majors to end the night early. 


With Ben King sidelined this weekend after an ACL scare, Curnow made a move in the goalkicking race by kicking five goals. But he wasn't the headline act, despite moving to 43 goals to continue his pursuit of a third consecutive Coleman Medal, a rare streak last achieved by Gary Ablett in the 1990s.

MRO scrutiny for returning star?
Patrick Dangerfield hadn't played since the last time Geelong faced Carlton in round seven and the Brownlow medallist got involved early, although one of his first involvements will be looked at by Match Review Officer Michael Christian. Dangerfield clamped Walsh in a tackle before driving the Carlton midfielder into the ground. Walsh's arms were pinned and his head made contact with the ground. 


Voss sends Cincotta to five-time All-Australian
Alex Cincotta has become an important cog in Michael Voss' side across the past two months, locking down a handful of opposition stars. After clamping Zach Merrett, Zak Butters and Touk Miller in the three weeks before the bye, the second-year rookie was handed a different role following Tom Stewart around the MCG. Cincotta kicked two goals and clearly took the points, limiting the influence of the five-time All-Australian to maintain his great run of form. Lachie Cowan also limited the influence of Gryan Miers in a second win. 

Hawk injury fears
Cats veteran Tom Hawkins hobbled off the ground in the third quarter with a foot injury, ending a dirty night for Geelong's games record holder. The five-time All-Australian key forward had struggled to make an impact at that point, finishing the night with three touches to his name.


CARLTON          5.3     11.5     12.11     21.12 (138)  
GEELONG          2.2      5.5       8.8         11.9 (75)  

Carlton: Curnow 5, Owies 3, McKay 3, Cincotta 2, Walsh, Newman, Kennedy, O.Hollands, E.Hollands, De Koning, Cowan, Acres
Cameron 3, Tuohy, Stengle, Rohan, Miers, Holmes, Dempsey, De Koning, Close

Carlton: De Koning, Cripps, Walsh, Curnow, Cincotta, Kennedy
Holmes, Cameron, Duncan, Dempsey

Carlton: Nil
Hawkins (foot)

Carlton: Corey Durdin (replaced Orazio Fantasia in the final quarter)
Gary Rohan (replaced Oisin Mullin in the third quarter)

Crowd: 75,218 at the MCG