GEELONG 4.3 7.5 12.7 17.10 (112)
SYDNEY SWANS 4.5 5.8 7.12 11.12 (78)
A four-goal haul from Tom Hawkins and an all-round team performance were the hallmarks of Geelong’s 34-point victory over Sydney. After a tight opening half where Sydney managed to take the lead, the Cats were able to pull away near 3 quarter time by kicking eight unanswered goals to seal the win.
Geelong emphasised midfield quality rather than quantity. No Geelong player accumulated more than 30 disposals, but the quality of those touches was what got Geelong through, as players continually delivered to the forward 50. Further to this was the power of that forward 50, with both Hawkins and James Podsiadly providing marking threats and kicking their way clear.
Sydney did have some shining lights though. Jarrad McVeigh was a workhorse through the midfield and Sydney’s most damaging player, while Shane Mumford returned to Geelong once more and showed why Sydney traded for him from Geelong as he dominated the ruck contests. What does raise concerns was the shutdown of their most effective players. Lewis Jetta was tagged out of the game by Taylor Hunt, while Adam Goodes simply cannot get into games right now. Both will need to fire to challenge for the premiership.
Geelong, on the other hand, are the first side to finish outside the top four under the new system to have a genuine chance of winning the flag.
Geelong face Fremantle at the MCG next Saturday night, while Sydney take on Adelaide at AAMI Stadium next Saturday afternoon.
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Chapman 3, Podsiadly 3, Johnson, Vardy, Christensen, Duncan, Lonergan, Mackie, Bartel
Sydney Swans: McVeigh 2, Goodes 2, Jack, Kennedy, Mumford, Walsh, O’Keefe, McGlynn, Bolton
Geelong: Kelly, Chapman, Selwood, Bartel, Scarlett, Taylor, Johnson
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, McVeigh, Richards, Armstrong, Shaw
20,045 at Simonds Stadium