|Brownlow Medal||3 Lachie Whitfield (GWS)||2 Joel Selwood (GEEL)||1 Lachie Henderson (GEEL)|
Saturday's match at Kardinia Park between top-four sides Geelong and GWS was promised to be a high-quality affair and it very much lived up to expectations, treating more than 22,000 fans to a close encounter that saw each team hold sway for parts of the match before the Cats did enough to eke out a 10-point win over the Giants to end a two-game losing streak and maintain their hold on third place on the ladder. The Giants led by two goals at quarter time and were only five points adrift at the long break, but a three-goal burst early in the third term from the Cats was decisive in setting up the narrow win.
GWS made the early running when ex-Cat Steve Johnson, making his first return to his old home ground, snapped a brilliant goal at the door-minute mark to give the Giants a seven-point lead. Geelong settled after that, and goals to Daniel Menzel and Shane Kersten had the Cats ahead by seven points after 12 minutes. However, the next 15 minutes were dominated by the Giants, and a brace of goals to Toby Greene, followed by another to Jack Steele saw GWS ahead by 11 points at the first break.
Defence ruled in the early stages of the second quarter, and it was more than six minutes before either team scored. The drought was broken by Cam Guthrie, whose bouncing goal brought the Cats within five points, but the lead was back out to 11 when Tom Scully goaled a couple of minutes later. Geelong then dominated the next 17 minutes, adding 2.4 to nil with Jordan Murdoch and Guthrie kicking the goals to take a five-point lead. Scully's second goal gave the lead back to GWS briefly, but an infringement against Zac Smith saw him goal and put the Cats ahead by five points at the half.
The Giants came out firing after the long break, and a goal each to Greene to Dylan Shiel had them ahead by seven points after just two minutes. Geelong reset after that, and dominated in a similar fashion to the second quarter, adding 3.3 to nil, the goals going to Lincoln Mccarthy, Kersten Lachie Henderson, taking the Cats out to a 12-point lead but late majors to Lachie Whitfield and Jonathon Patton had GWS back within two points at 'orange' time.
Fourth-gamer Jacob Hopper had a chance to give the Giants the lead at the start of the final term, but his shot from 30 metres out missed, and Geelong responded with majors to Tom Hawkins and skipper Joel Selwood to lead by 14 points after seven minutes. A brace of goals to GWS captain Callan Ward and Whitfield had the Giants back within two points midway through the quarter, but three of the next four majors went Geelong's way as it sets up a game-brealoing 16 point lead. Whitfield's third brought the margin back to 10 points in the last minute, but the Cats held on for a hard-fought and well-earned win.
Selwood was a matchwinner for the Cats, with 29 touches and seven tackles while Shiel was outstanding for the Giants, with 32 disposals and five marks.
Another huge match awaits Geelong next Saturday as the third-placed Cats will take on ladder leaders North Melbourne at Docklands. A win in that match will see them move to within a game of the Kangaroos. GWS will also face another big test next weekend, with the Giants to host the Swans, who beat them in round three, at the Sydney Showground on Sunday.
Geelong: Menzel 3; Guthrie, Kersten, Hawkins 2; Murdoch, Smith, McCarthy, Henderson, Selwood
GWS: Greene, Whitfield 3; Scully 2; Johnson, Steele, Shiel, Patton, Ward, Hopper
BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Geelong: Selwood, Smith, Henderson, Bartel, Guthrie, Dangerfield, Enright, Menzel
GWS: Shiel, Scully, Williams, Ward, Whitfield, Davis
BEST - THEAGE.COM.AU
Geelong: Selwood, Dangerfield, Taylor, Smith, Guthrie, Enright, Bartel
GWS: Shiel, Coniglio, Davis, Ward, Whifield, Williams, Greene
UMPIRES: Nicholls, Hay, Jeffery
TELEVISION BROACAST: Fox Footy
COMMENTATORS: Dwayne Russell, Dermott Brereton, Brad Johnson, David King
|3||Bartel, Jimmy||17||4||8||25||0||0||0||5||1||0||32y 183d||294||195|
|46||Blicavs, Mark||4||1||14||18||0||0||11||4||2||1||25y 68d||77||20|
|23||Caddy, Josh||16||1||11||27||0||1||1||3||1||0||23y 250d||88||66|
|35||Dangerfield, Patrick||17||2||15||32||0||1||1||5||2||1||26y 60d||165||170|
|22||Duncan, Mitch||11||1||12||23||0||1||0||2||2||0||24y 360d||122||99|
|44||Enright, Corey||14||4||11||25||0||0||0||4||1||1||34y 264d||319||64|
|29||Guthrie, Cameron||10||1||17||27||2||0||0||3||1||1||23y 290d||96||31|
|26||Hawkins, Tom||10||7||4||14||2||3||0||4||0||1||27y 319d||177||356|
|25||Henderson, Lachie||12||6||2||14||1||1||0||0||1||0||26y 173d||127||106|
|39||Kersten, Shane||8||4||9||17||2||2||0||2||2||0||23y 81d||30||36|
|8||Kolodjashnij, Jake||5||1||2||7||0||0||0||3||0||1||20y 300d||17||0|
|11||Lang, Darcy||6||2||4||10||0||1||0||1||1||0||20y 196d||31||24|
|13||Lonergan, Tom||8||4||4||12||0||0||0||4||0||1||32y 18d||173||54|
|4||Mackie, Andrew||14||3||2||16||0||0||0||4||1||0||31y 302d||245||97|
|6||McCarthy, Lincoln||8||0||3||11||1||1||0||0||2||1||22y 226d||12||8|
|10||Menzel, Daniel||10||4||4||14||3||1||0||1||1||1||24y 265d||31||47|
|32||Motlop, Steven||12||4||2||14||0||0||0||0||1||2||25y 84d||99||135|
|21||Murdoch, Jordan||7||5||5||12||1||1||0||1||0||0||24y 73d||65||47|
|36||Ruggles, Tom||6||1||1||7||0||0||0||3||3||1||24y 40d||7||0|
|14||Selwood, Joel||16||2||13||29||1||0||1||7||5||3||28y 9d||215||132|
|9||Smith, Zac||7||0||12||19||1||0||31||4||2||1||26y 103d||76||39|
|7||Taylor, Harry||4||4||10||14||0||0||0||1||0||0||29y 358d||191||41|
|Greater Western Sydney||Match Stats||Career|
|21||Buntine, Matt||7||2||2||9||0||0||0||3||0||0||22y 229d||36||1|
|18||Cameron, Jeremy||3||1||6||9||0||0||0||1||0||1||23y 64d||80||205|
|3||Coniglio, Stephen||12||0||15||27||0||0||0||2||1||1||22y 172d||72||28|
|1||Davis, Phil||8||4||3||11||0||0||0||4||2||0||25y 279d||84||6|
|4||Greene, Toby||11||3||7||18||3||0||0||7||0||8||22y 253d||85||53|
|19||Haynes, Nick||13||4||4||17||0||0||0||2||0||1||24y 17d||50||4|
|2||Hopper, Jacob||6||4||5||11||1||1||0||8||2||1||19y 119d||4||2|
|17||Johnson, Steve||11||4||8||19||1||0||0||0||0||2||32y 336d||264||474|
|22||Kelly, Josh||8||2||11||19||0||0||0||5||2||0||21y 113d||47||26|
|37||Lobb, Rory||4||1||3||7||0||0||17||5||1||1||23y 116d||22||23|
|41||Mumford, Shane||1||1||9||10||0||0||34||6||1||4||29y 335d||139||47|
|24||Patfull, Joel||5||4||2||7||0||0||0||3||0||1||31y 180d||207||25|
|12||Patton, Jonathon||7||5||3||10||1||0||0||2||0||0||23y 15d||42||46|
|9||Scully, Tom||9||4||6||15||2||0||0||6||0||2||25y 20d||114||48|
|23||Shaw, Heath||19||8||3||22||0||0||0||2||0||0||30y 190d||224||38|
|5||Shiel, Dylan||19||5||13||32||1||0||0||2||2||0||23y 87d||75||39|
|11||Steele, Jack||7||3||3||10||1||0||0||5||0||1||20y 174d||15||9|
|20||Tomlinson, Adam||10||8||6||16||0||1||0||1||0||1||22y 299d||57||18|
|8||Ward, Callan||15||6||7||22||1||0||0||9||1||1||26y 55d||154||77|
|6||Whitfield, Lachie||20||9||8||28||3||0||0||1||1||0||21y 322d||62||29|
|29||Williams, Zac||20||8||5||25||0||0||0||3||2||3||21y 258d||40||10|
|16||Wilson, Nathan||9||4||5||14||0||0||0||2||1||1||23y 149d||43||12|
Video sourced from YouTube, courtesy of the AFL.