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Champion Cat's lift in form a handy added touch

Highlights: Geelong v Adelaide The Cats and Crows clash in round 15

PERHAPS it's because of his own high standards. It could be a shift in role or maybe it's just that he's taken a back seat this season because he can. The injury might not have helped, either. 

Any which way, Geelong skipper Joel Selwood hasn't hit the heights that have become expected of him so far in 2019.

Well, he hadn't. At least not until Friday night against Adelaide. 

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The champion Cat pushed a middling season and a niggling knee injury to one side to be a dominant force against the Crows. 

In 11 games this year before the Cats' 27-point win over the Crows, Selwood had passed the 25-possession barrier just once.

At GMHBA Stadium under lights on Friday night, he had gathered 20 by half-time. He finished with a season-high 33 touches and six clearances and pieced together a dominant midfield performance. 

Selwood rose to the occasion against the Crows. Picture: AFL Photos

Because of the quality of Selwood's career from his debut season in 2007, any dip in numbers provokes a question. 

So, it is natural to wonder about the reasons behind his 21-disposal average in 2019, which is the lowest of his career since that sparking first season, which ended with a flag and as the NAB AFL Rising Star winner.

He denies he has knee tendinitis, but coach Chris Scott admitted his skipper has been dealing with a "knee-related issue all year". 

On his showing against the Crows, Selwood appears to have just about shaken off its affects. 

Because of Geelong's luxury of gun midfielders, Selwood has been shifted on to a wing regularly this year. 

It is a move the Cats can afford given their stable of midfield stars, including Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly and Mitch Duncan, and also a switch that takes Selwood out of the hustle and bustle around the stoppages. 

He has been open to the change, hoping it can help his longevity and also believing some younger midfielders deserve their chance at the coalface.

But he was back playing as an inside midfielder at stages against the Crows, resuming normal programming at the feet of the Cats' ruckmen Rhys Stanley and Mark Blicavs. 

Selwood didn't play a lone hand against Adelaide, which put in a competitive showing away from home and didn't lose any fans in a tight contest. 

Kelly grew in influence as the game wore on, finishing with 29 touches and two goals, while Duncan had 28 disposals and Dangerfield collected 24, his night interrupted by a hip complaint in the second term. 

Things were already going well for the Cats, with the ladder leaders sitting pretty at 12-2 as they turn for the final chunk of the home and away season. But Selwood's lift in form was a handy added touch.