Sport AFL Cats in thumping win as Eagles take flight

Cats in thumping win as Eagles take flight

Stevie Johnson takes a strong grab against the Eagles.
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A kiss from his mum at the pre-match coin toss, 27 hard-won possessions, three goals and a midfield battle with his youngest brother.

A knock to the head in the first half and a knee to the ribs in the second.

Even by his own lofty standards, Geelong captain Joel Selwood was a central figure in the Cats’ 75-point AFL trouncing of West Coast on Saturday night.

The unbeaten Cats held the Eagles goalless after quarter-time in the 16.11 (107) to 4.8 (32) victory at Simonds Stadium.

It was West Coast’s lowest-ever score against the Cats, worse even than their efforts of 4.9 (33) and 5.33 (33) at the same venue back in 2002 and 2005.

With the fourth of her famous footballing sons Scott playing for West Coast, Maree Selwood was fittingly given the honour of tossing the coin before the match.

Wearing both teams’ scarves, her impartiality even extended to kissing the cheeks of the Geelong captain and West Coast champion Dean Cox, who was playing a club-record 277th AFL game.

The Eagles played their part in an entertaining opening quarter and only trailed by two points at the first change.

But that was the signal for the Cats to up the ante, the home team kicking six goals to nil in the second term.

Forwards Jimmy Bartel and Tom Hawkins kicked two goals apiece for the term, while the Eagles’ only score was a behind by Nic Naitanui with 11 seconds to go.

Geelong eased up somewhat in the third quarter, kicking only three majors goals for the term, while again holding West Coast goalless.

The pattern continued in the last quarter, impressive youngster George Horlin-Smith and Selwood both booting their third goals to the delight of the 25,271-strong crowd.

The Cats had a host of good players headed by midfielders Mathew Stokes, Cameron Guthrie and Selwood and defenders Harry Taylor and Jared Rivers.

Sharrod Wellingham and Andrew Gaff were among the Eagles’ best on a sorry night for the WA club.

It was the injury-ravaged Eagles’ first loss of 2014, while Geelong extended their win-loss record to 4-0 ahead of the Easter Monday blockbuster against flag favourites Hawthorn.