Cats crush Demons in the wet

JOEL Selwood added the 124th win to his glittering 150-game career by leading a depleted Geelong line-up to victory in one of the most lop-sided results in recent AFL history.

In terms of territory conceded, this 68-point belting at a rain-soaked Simonds Stadium was as one-sided as you are ever likely to see with Melbourne setting a new benchmark for the fewest number of inside 50s by an AFL side.
Melbourne also equalled its lowest score at the ground as the Cats dominated from the start to win 13.20 (98) to 4.6 (30). The Demons’ total of 19 times inside their 50m arc was the lowest number since the stat came into existence in 1999 and the 51 differential with Geelong was also a record high.
Astonishingly, Melbourne led the inside-50 count at 15 minutes into the match,  8-5. but at 15 minutes into the final term, the inside-50 count was 62-16 Geelong’s way.  Melbourne only went inside 50 six times in the second half for a game total of  70-19.  It wasn’t a repeat of the 186-point annihilation which cost then coach Dean Bailey his job in 2011 but even back then the Demons notched 32 inside 50s to Geelong’s 69.
And it was all done with a Geelong side missing Corey Enright, Joel Corey,  Paul Chapman, Allen Christensen and late withdrawal Mathew Stokes while Jared Rivers, Trent West and Nathan Vardy were also looking on from the comfort of the grandstand. Steve Johnson continued his recent demolition jobs on Melbourne, racking up a career-high 38 touches, 15 clearances and topping his game with a late goal. But the captain Selwood was also superb in  his milestone match with 30 possessions.

All the improvement that the Demons have shown since Neil Craig took over from Mark Neeld last month was washed away in the miserable conditions. Geelong’s inaccuracy meant they became the first team this season not to score 100 points against the Demons, however the wet conditions strongly impacted both teams’ ability to hit targets.

Key forward Tom Hawkins marked and goalled in the second minute to set the Cats on their way.  They had two more on the board before former Geelong player Shannon Byrnes kicked Melbourne’s first at 11 minutes.  The Demons did not kick another goal until 23 minutes into the second term and kicked one in each quarter.
Melbourne were too slow when they tried to clear the ball from defence, giving the well-drilled Cats ample time to intercept and drive the ball back inside 50 at will.
Midfielder Josh Caddy had arguably his best game since joining the Cats last year, kicking two goals in the third term and racking up 22 possessions.
Melbourne onballer Nathan Jones also played his 150th and was a rare shining light for the Demons and continued his strong season with 31 possessions.
GEELONG 4.5 7.10 11.12 13.20 (98)
MELBOURNE 1.2 2.4 3.5 4.6 (30)
Goals: Geelong: G Horlin-Smith 2 J Caddy 2 J Podsiadly 2 T Hawkins 2 B Smedts J Stringer M Duncan S Johnson S Motlop. Melbourne: S Byrnes 2 C Dawes J Howe.
Best: Geelong: S Johnson J Selwood J Caddy J Bartel G Horlin-Smith H Taylor D Simpson. Melbourne: N Jones T McDonald.
Umpires: Stuart Wenn, Heath Ryan, Brendan Hosking.
Official Crowd: 23,172 at Skilled Stadium.
Cats v Demons 1/4 time
Cats 4.5 (29)
Demons 1.2 (8)
Late inclusion George Horlin-Smith made the most of his call-up for Mathew Stokes by kicking two goals from his five disposals against Melbourne whose solitary goal came from former Cat Shannon Byrnes who was busy.  The Demons’ backline was put under a heap of pressure as the Cats kicked the football deep into their forward line and tried to lock it in in the greasy conditions.
Cats v Demons 1/2 time
Cats 7.10 (52)
Demons 2.4 (16)
A 70m goal from Billie Smedts – handy in his return to the seniors – was a rare highlight for the defensive-minded Cats with the Demons kicking their only goal late in the quarter. Steve Johnson had 13 touches for the quarter and Joel Selwood and James Kelly were also prominent.
Cats v Demons 3/4 time
Cats 11.12 (78)
Demons 3.5 (23)
A terrific right-foot snap by Shannon Byrnes gave Melbourne a goal from one of only two ventures inside their 50m arc for the quarter. In a quarter played in teeming rain,  the Cats locked up play in their forward half to have Melbourne on the cusp of another unwanted record at Simonds Stadium – the lowest number of inside 50s.
Cats v Demons Fulltime
Cats 13.20 (98)
Demons 4.6 (30)
Steve Johnson added a late goal to his 38 disposal game as the Cats kept Melbourne to just 19 inside 50s for the game – a new benchmark for the AFL. Terrible conditions but the Cats will be happy with the result with Varcoe and Smedts showing flashes of good form in their returns to senior footy while a host of topliners looking on from the grandstand.
Source: Geelong Advertiser