K rock Football

Cats dismantle struggling Tigers

GEELONG has surged into second spot on the AFL ladder with a comprehensive 38-point win over Richmond, driving another dagger into the reigning premiers’ finals hopes.

Patrick Dangerfield, Cam Guthrie and Tom Hawkins were at the heart of the Cats’ dominance in the second quarter as they piled on five unanswered goals to set up the 15.5 (95) to 8.9 (57) victory at the MCG on Sunday.

It was Geelong’s second big win over the Tigers in as many meetings this season – following a 63-point thrashing in Roud  – after being overrun in the second half of last year’s grand final.

But there was a sour note for the Cats, who had Joel Selwood substituted out of the game during the third term after the skipper copped a corked thigh in an early collision with Mabior Chol.

Dangerfield finished with 28 disposals, 18 contested possessions, seven clearances and a goal as best afield, with Guthrie (34 disposals and seven clearances) also influential.

Hawkins and Esava Ratugolea kicked four goals each as key figures in attack, while medical substitute Quinton Narkle had 12 disposals and eight clearances in less than half a game after replacing Selwood.

Daniel Rioli impressed in his new role across half-back for Richmond with eye-catching dash and distribution, and youngster Rhyan Mansell showed glimpses of his potential, but the Tigers had few winners on the day.

Captain Trent Cotchin fought hard to finish with 19 disposals and six clearances, while Jack Riewoldt and Jake Aarts kicked two goals each.

The first half was a demolition job, with Richmond held to just 1.4 (10) in their lowest tally at halftime in more than four years as the Cats built an unassailable 41-point lead.

Geelong was ruthlessly efficient at the other end as Ratugolea impressed with his competitiveness in attack despite battling a knee issue at one point.

The Tigers launched a brief challenge after the main break but were wasteful in front of the big sticks, where Liam Baker and Tom Lynch were among those who let goal-scoring chances go begging.

(C) AAP 2021

GEELONG 3.0 8.3 10.3 15.5 (95)

RICHMOND 1.2 1.4 3.7 8.9 (57)

Goals: Geelong: E Ratugolea 4 T Hawkins 4 B Close B Parfitt G Miers G Rohan P Dangerfield Q Narkle R Stanley. Richmond: J Aarts 2 J Riewoldt 2 J Castagna K Lambert T Cotchin T Lynch.

Umpires: Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith, Robert Findlay.

Venue: MCG.