Another Joel Selwood midfield masterclass inspired Geelong to a 48-point trouncing of Port Adelaide in a feisty AFL encounter on Saturday night.
Selwood collected 28 disposals in Geelong’s 16.11 (107) to 8.11 (59) win at Adelaide Oval but could face match review panel scrutiny.
The Geelong captain and Port backman Jackson Trengove struck each other high with glancing blows in a behind-play scuffle in the second term.
And numerous players from both clubs will foot a hefty bill for a quarter-time melee which simmered for nearly two minutes and, while never quite boiling over, will warm the AFL’s coffers.
Cats coach Chris Scott and Port midfielder Hamish Hartlett both appeared to exchange words in the aftermath of the scuffle, which followed a strong opening from the Power.
Port led 5.4 to 1.4 at quarter-time but were then blitzed by the Cats, who kicked 14 of the next 16 goals en route to an emphatic fourth win of the season.
Forward Daniel Menzel kicked three goals and ex-Crow Patrick Dangerfield, booed out of habit by Port’s 44,937-strong crowd, and Shane Kersten both booted two.
Dangerfield (29 disposals) helped form a dominant midfield with Selwood, who had 11 clearances, Mitch Duncan (27 possessions) and Cameron Guthrie (25 touches).
And Geelong duo Corey Enright and Harry Taylor were supreme in defence against a Port side stuck in a rut – three heavy losses in four weeks.
Power onballer Ollie Wines (two goals, 24 possessions, 10 tackles) battled gamely and recruit Charlie Dixon kicked three majors but the home side paid the price for a lame second term when Geelong booted 6.1 to two points to seize all momentum.
At Docklands, the Western Bulldogs consolidated their spot in the top four with a clinical 53-point win over Brisbane.
The 17.18 (120) to 10.7 (67) win might have come at a cost, however, with Matt Suckling departing the game in the second quarter with a knee injury.
Still adjusting to life without long-term absentees Bob Murphy and Jason Johannisen, the Dogs can ill afford to lose Suckling as well.
The former Hawk landed awkwardly in a first-quarter marking contest and hobbled off the ground favouring his right knee. He managed to return to the field, albeit heavily strapped, in the second term but didn’t re-emerge after halftime.
Young Lion Tom Cutler wasn’t so lucky, suffering an elbow injury that ended his game in the first quarter, and he was joined by Allen Christensen in the second after the former Cat suffered a concussion.
As industrious as the Lions were early, the Bulldogs always looked to have their measure and duly broke the game open with five unanswered goals setting up a 34-point halftime lead.
Down to two fit men on the bench, Brisbane looked set for a fearful hiding as the margin blew out to 54 points late in the third quarter.
But in a small positive for Justin Leppitsch, his players at least fought the game out bravely.
Koby Stevens and Mitch Wallis were impressive for the Dogs with 34 and 33 possessions respectively.
The Bulldogs had 10 goalkickers, Jake Stringer leading the way with three.
A five-goal final term has lifted North Melbourne to a 38-point win over Gold Coast to maintain their unbeaten start to the AFL season.
The Kangaroos led at every change against an undersized Suns before their final-term blitz blew the Suns away in an 18.11 (119) to 11.15 (81) victory.
The win means the Roos have won their opening five matches of a season for the first time since 2005.
Ben Brown booted four goals for the visitors, one of six multiple goalkickers for the free-scoring Roos.
And Sydney’s bright start also continued, as they moved to 4-1 with a 12.16 (88) to 7.7 (49) victory over West Coast.
Sydney kicked the last six goals at the SCG, with Josh Kennedy (31 disposals) and Dan Hannebery (28 disposals) impressive for the victors.
Pre-season flag fancies West Coast have now lost their last five away matches.