Geelong has moved into provisional top spot on the ladder with a thumping 69-point victory over Fremantle in wet conditions in Perth.
- Tom Hawkins kicked four goals for the Cats and Patrick Dangerfield added three
- The Dockers were restricted to just three goals for the match
- The Cats now hold a 13-4 win-loss record
The Cats kicked eight goals to one in the first half to set up the 14.16 (100) to 3.13 (31) win in front of 35,271 spectators on Thursday night.
The Dockers had clawed their way into the top eight on the back of last week’s 62-point demolition of Hawthorn, and their match against Geelong was the first time they had appeared on a Thursday or Friday night in five years.
But the contest was all but over by half-time, with Fremantle’s turnovers and wastefulness in front of goal proving costly.
It was Fremantle’s biggest defeat under coach Justin Longmuir, eclipsing the 59-point loss to West Coast in round seven this year.
Geelong’s dominance was highlighted by the marks inside 50 statistic, which the Cats won 28-2.
Sean Darcy put in a huge effort to finish with 18 disposals, eight clearances, and 37 hitouts for the Dockers.
But he hobbled off early in the final quarter with an injury to his strapped left knee.
Darcy had clutched at the knee in the opening minutes of the second quarter and bravely played on for as long as he could.
Rory Lobb was subbed off at half-time with an ankle injury, while forward Josh Treacy was reported for rough conduct.
Treacy drew the ire of Geelong players after bumping Jed Bews in the back as the Cats defender was taking a mark.
Despite Darcy’s dominance in the ruck, Geelong’s midfield got on top at ground level, with Cam Guthrie (35 disposals, seven clearances) and Sam Menegola (30 disposals, seven clearances, one goal) influential.
Tom Hawkins cashed in up forward with four goals and three contested marks despite the slippery conditions.
Patrick Dangerfield booted three goals from 22 disposals playing mainly in attack, with the Cats flourishing despite the absence of forwards Jeremy Cameron and Gary Rohan to injury.
The result lifted Geelong (13-4) from third to first on the ladder ahead of the completion of round 18, while Fremantle (8-9) could slip outside of the top eight by the end of the round.
Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe sent a huge scare through the home side’s camp when he hurt the right shoulder that he dislocated last month.
Fyfe came to the bench for attention, but was able to return in the second quarter and finished the match with 19 disposals and six clearances.