GEELONG 4.5 9.7 15.11 20.14 (134)
ESSENDON 2.1 5.4 8.5 10.7 (67)
Geelong have bounced back after a disapointing loss to Collingwood the previous week to firm up their position in the top eight with a 67-point thrashing of Essendon.
The Cats had been under pressure with many feeling they looked like missing the finals.
However, they answered their critics quickly and emphatically, their first five minutes of intense pressure stunning the Bombers.
In this amazing opening period, Geelong were able to put 29 points on the board before Essendon could even score, setting them up for the remainder of the match.
The Bombers were able to claw their way back into the game, even getting within 10 points during the second quarter. However, the Cats looked like their old selves, kicking goals before Essendon could gain any momentum and pulling further away.
After half-time, the Cats put the Dons to the sword. They moved the ball quickly and hit targets up forward, all while keeping Essendon under wraps. Tom Hawkins was the main beneficiary, with his straight kicking resulting in five goals.
Geelong’s old hands returned to form on the night. Steve Johnson was at his brilliant best with 22 disposals and a couple of goals before he was subbed off. Harry Taylor was also back to his All-Australian best while Mitch Duncan showed that the Cats have some talent coming through with a game-high 31 disposals.
Essendon were behind right from the get go, never looking like catching up as they butchered the ball all night. There were countless turnovers which destroyed any chance they had at getting back into the contest.
There were some positives to take out of the match though. Tom Bellchambers looks better and better each week and was the best of the Bombers with three goals. Dyson Heppell also came out ahead while he spent some time on Joel Selwood.
3) Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
2) Steve Johnson (Geelong)
1) Mitch Duncan (Geelong)
Geelong: Hawkins 5, Smedts 3, Johnson 2, Murdoch 2, Taylor 2, Chapman 2, Duncan, Mackie, Motlop, Walker
Essendon: Bellchambers 3, Crameri, Davey, Dell’Ollio, Gumbleton, Jetta, Monfries, Myers
Geelong: Hawkins, Johnson, Duncan, Taylor, Kelly
Essendon: Bellchambers, Heppell, Myers, Fletcher
Geelong: Johnson (right groin)
Geelong: Cameron Guthrie replaced Steve Johnson in the third quarter
Essendon: Nathan Lovett-Murray replaced Angus Monfries in the third quarter
Official crowd: 50,066 at Etihad Stadium