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Blues fall to dominant Geelong

Highlights | Carlton v Geelong Watch the highlights from the Blues and Cats clash in Round 19.

A Tom Hawkins-inspired Geelong has dealt Carlton a 65-point loss at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The hulking forward booted six goals and finished with a career-best 27 disposals to power Geelong to a 18.15 (123) to 8.10 (58) triumph.

Hawkins amassed a game-high 16 possessions and seven score involvements to half time as the Cats' handball-happy, hard-running ways dominated the Blues, who have lost six straight games.

Star midfielder and Brownlow Medal favourite Patrick Dangerfield will come under scrutiny from the Match Review Panel for a tackle on Carlton's Matthew Kreuzer that resulted in the ruckman playing no further part in the game.  

Geelong coach Chris Scott hailed his team's "professional performance".

"They, over the course of the season, have been really competitive and defend really strongly and make it hard for teams to score," Scott said. "They had one blowout earlier in the year against Port … but generally, even when they lose, the margins are pretty tight.

"We were aware of the challenge going into the game and it wasn't just to find a way to score ourselves, but it was to defend them, so when it was three goals to one early, there were some warning bells. But I thought we defended pretty well, made it hard for them to score and got some good looks off the back of that."

There was debate around where Harry Taylor should play after five second-half goals against Adelaide last week, and it will continue despite the swingman starting up forward. Taylor played firestarter for Hawkins – ignoring his own scoring chance to set up his teammate's first goal with a daisy-cutter pass – before quickly going down back to try to douse Levi Casboult's flames.

Taylor was not as successful in his second pursuit, with Carlton's He-Man playing a lone hand in attack with three majors. Tom Lonergan and Lachie Henderson also had stints on Casboult, who didn't add to his tally in the last two quarters.

Hawkins buried David Cuningham in a tackle before slotting his second, then benefited from a selfless Joel Selwood pass for his third. The trend continued after half time, with Sam Menegola spinning out of a tackle inside five minutes to feed Hawkins, who had Liam Jones for company, for his fourth.

With the damage done, rewards started coming for other Cats – namely lively duo Jordan Murdoch and Nakia Cockatoo, who snagged three goals each. The rangy Murdoch also snaffled a personal-best 12 marks. 

Cockatoo added class and some aggression in an impressive return from a hamstring issue, but his interrupted career looks set for another break because of a suspected recurrence. The 20-year-old shook his head and disappeared up the race after kicking his third major.

Hawkins rounded out his performance with two final-quarter goals to blow the final margin out.

Making Geelong's dominance even more noteworthy was the Dangerwood combination – Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood – was able to largely play a back-seat role. Instead, Scott Selwood blanketed Bryce Gibbs and won plenty of his own ball, while Mitch Duncan and Sam Menegola were also prominent.

Irishman Zach Tuohy endured a torrid night, with a chorus of boos ringing in his ears each time he touched the ball in his first encounter with his former side.

It was a tough night for Brendon Bolton's Blues, who struggled for positives beyond Casboult's first-half heroics. Skipper Marc Murphy toiled away and young guns Charlie Curnow and Sam Petrevski-Seton showed more glimpses of their talent. 

"I think what you're seeing is a club that's in contention versus a club that's in its second year of a reset and on a different path right now," Bolton told reporters.

"We said there are going to be some ups and downs and (it would be) a bit bumpy, and although it's difficult while it's bumpy, in time we think it will pay us back and we'll learn from it."

CARLTON        3.0       4.3       5.8       8.10 (58)
GEELONG        5.7       9.10     13.12   18.15 (123)

Carlton: Casboult 3, McKay 2, Wright, Curnow, Silvagni
Geelong: Hawkins 6, Cockatoo 3, Murdoch 3, Dangerfield 2, Smith 2, Buzza, Duncan

Carlton: Casboult, Murphy, Kerridge, Docherty, Curnow, Petrevski-Seton
Geelong: Hawkins, Duncan, Dangerfield, S.Selwood, Menegola, Murdoch

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Haussen, Chamberlain, Mollison 

Official crowd: 35,460 at Etihad Stadium



Carlton: In-form ruckman Matthew Kreuzer (concussion) took no further part after coming off worse for wear in a Patrick Dangerfield tackle early in the third quarter. There was also some first-half concern for Zac Fisher, but he started the third term with strapping on his left knee and played out the contest.

Geelong: Nakia Cockatoo's AFL career has been injury chequered and he was returning from a hamstring problem. He grimaced as he came from the field after slotting his third goal in the fourth term, fearing he had suffered a recurrence. The crowd also gasped as a charging Levi Casboult's knee crashed into Tom Lonergan's back in a third-quarter marking contest. Lonergan backed into Casboult's path, bringing back memories of his horror 2006 incident, in which the brave Cat later underwent surgery to remove his right kidney. Lonergan went into the rooms, but returned to the game.


Geelong has a six-day turnaround for its huge clash with Sydney at Simonds Stadium on Friday night in a match with top-four ramifications. The Blues will try to play the spoiler against traditional rival Essendon at the MCG on Saturday week.