Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal during Geelong's clash against West Coast in round five, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG banked an important win but showed continuing signs of rust against a persistent West Coast, getting the hard work done early before fading at Adelaide Oval in a 47-point win. 

The Cats produced a dominant first half that sealed their second straight win, building a game-high 77-point lead early in the third quarter on the back of their tall forwards and a dominant midfield group. 

The undermanned Eagles showed plenty of spirit in the second half, however, cutting the margin to 40 points late in the game before the Cats prevailed 21.10 (136) to 13.11 (89).  

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It was a performance that showed both the ruthless, high-scoring football Geelong is capable of while exposing the reigning premier's vulnerability within games when its pressure drops in the midfield. 


Twice West Coast went on goal-scoring runs in the second half, kicking five in a row during the third quarter and three in a row during the final term as its own key forwards worked into the match. 

Still, the Cats did what was required to move their season to 2-3 after wins against Hawthorn and the Eagles, with a stiffer test now awaiting against Sydney next Saturday night. 

The win was Geelong's fourth in a row against the Eagles, but it could come at a cost after small forward Tyson Stengle was substituted out of the match at half-time with an arm injury.

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They were brilliant from the 15-minute mark of the first quarter until half-time, kicking 14 of the 15 goals kicked during that period, including 12 unanswered.


Through the second quarter they dominated every key indicator, including disposals (103-68), inside 50s (18-10), clearances (17-6), centre clearances (6-2) and contested possessions (38-26). 

Superstar forward Jeremy Cameron booted all four of his goals through the critical period of the game, while defender Esava Ratugolea (14 disposals and nine marks) excelled as a loose defender during the period and set up the team with six intercept marks in the first term. 

Champion forward Tom Hawkins also finished with four goals, while midfielders Patrick Dangerfield (23 and six clearances) and Max Holmes (20, five inside 50s and a goal) were particularly damaging. 


The early signs were positive for West Coast, winning plenty of possession and kicking the opening two goals through Jake Waterman and Oscar Allen after some impressive ball movement.  

The Eagles could have capitalised further but their last kick inside 50 often lacked purpose, allowing the Cats to intercept repeatedly and eventually get their own game into motion. 

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From the moment Hawkins kicked Geelong's first goal halfway through the term the Cats were rolling and they went on to boot five goals in a row to close out the quarter, with an 18-point lead. 


Ratugolea was the key, ending the quarter with seven intercept possessions, including his six intercept marks, while Dangerfield established the Cats' midfield ascendency after the slow start. 

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The second quarter was ruthless as the Cats kept their momentum going and booted nine of the 10 goals kicked for the term, including the first seven in a row as they opened a 58-point lead. 

Cameron found space inside 50 repeatedly and kicked four goals for the quarter, including a miskicked set shot that still floated through, taking his season tally to an AFL-high 22 goals by the end of the match. 

It took first-year Eagle Reuben Ginbey to end the Cats' run of 12 goals, converting on the run from 40m to kick his first career goal in his fifth game. 


The Eagles were left with a mammoth task at half-time, however, trailing by 64 points and having conceded three goals directly out of the centre square, where they were losing the clearances 11-3. 

The response came in the third, led by the Eagles' tall forwards. Jack Darling and Allen both kicked two goals for the quarter as the team went on a five-goal run to win the term by five points. 

The midfielders started to get their hands dirty as well, with Tim Kelly leading the fight at the coalface and helping the Eagles cut the margin back to a more respectable 59 points at the final change. 

Little wins are what the decimated Eagles are after, and there were plenty to take away after also winning the final term by 12 points. 


Jamaine Jones (25 and eight inside 50s) produced another performance full of piercing midfield runs and rebound, while Kelly (22 and five clearances) bounced back after a quiet start opposed to Mark Blicavs. 

Waterman and Allen each booted four goals, with Waterman's form this season one of the shining lights for West Coast. 

Hawkins climbs the leaderboard
Tom Hawkins' first goal halfway through the opening quarter moved the champion forward equal with Carlton great Stephen Kernahan in 17th place on the all-time goalkicking leaderboard with 738 goals. He moved past 'Sticks' later in the quarter and now holds the place outright with 741 career goals, closing in on former St Kilda, Sydney and Western Bulldogs spearhead Barry Hall in 16th place with 746 goals. The question always with Hawkins is how many he has given away given the selfless nature of his play.

Simpson rides the pine again
When the Eagles were decimated by in-game injuries against Fremantle in round three, Adam Simpson headed for the boundary to guide his team from close range. After conceding 14 of the last 15 goals up to half-time on Sunday, he did the same thing against the Cats in the third quarter. It might turn out to be the right place for the coach during this phase of the Eagles' development, with the team producing its best period of the game while getting immediate feedback from Simpson on the bench.

'Dangerous tackle' with a difference 
While players need to adjust their tackling techniques to avoid contributing to head injuries, Geelong's Tyson Stengle emerged from a Josh Rotham tackle that will likely sideline the premiership forward for a different reason. Stengle, who was sent to hospital for scans on a suspected arm injury, had his arm pinned when he was dumped to ground, with his left arm taking the brunt of the impact. It was a difficult tackle to assess, with Stengle's legs getting tangled and his body weight moving forward quickly. There's probably little Rotham could have done to execute the tackle differently, with Stengle's injury an unfortunate one.


GEELONG                5.3     14.5     19.7     21.10 (136)
WEST COAST          2.3      3.7       9.8       13.11 (89)

Hawkins 4, Close 4, Cameron 4, Henry 2, Blicavs 2, Tuohy, Stengle, Smith, Holmes, Bowes
West Coast:
Waterman 4, Allen 4, Darling 2, Petruccelle, Petrevski-Seton, Ginbey

Dangerfield, Hawkins, Cameron, Blicavs, Ratugolea, Close, Stewart
West Coast:
Waterman, Allen, Jones, Kelly, Duggan

Stengle (left wrist)
West Coast:

Geelong: Brandan Parfitt (replaced Tyson Stengle at half-time)
West Coast:
Connor West (replaced Reuben Ginbey in third quarter)

Crowd: 30,120 at Adelaide Oval