Adelaide looks to end Melbourne’s undefeated start to the season after Geelong and Carlton posted their respective round-10 victories.
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Adelaide Crows vs Melbourne
Western Bulldogs vs St Kilda
Fremantle vs Sydney Swans
Cats run away from plucky Suns
Geelong has weathered a mid-game surge from Gold Coast before running away to claim a 34-point win at Kardinia Park.
When the Suns cut the margin to five points early in the third term, the prospect of the visitors recording their first win at the Cats’ home ground seemed realistic.
But with key attackers Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins and Gary Rohan combining for seven goals, the Cats regrouped to triumph 14.7 (91) to 8.9 (57), improving their 2021 win-loss record to 7-3.
On the down side, Geelong will be without Mitch Duncan for next Saturday’s MCG clash with Collingwood.
Duncan was subbed out under the concussion rule at half-time after smashing his head into the turf in a strong tackle from Nick Holman.
There were concerns that fellow midfield ace Cameron Guthrie would also spend time on the sidelines after he came off early in the third quarter clutching his left shoulder, but the 2020 All-Australian was able to return to the fray after receiving medical attention.
The Suns were left to rue inacurracy in front of goal, with spearhead Ben King’s miss from directly in front late in the second quarter proving a momentum killer.
King still ended the match with three goals, but the Cats got a much better collective return from their big-name forwards, with Cameron booting three goals and Hawkins and Rohan chiming in with two apiece.
Fringe midfielder Quinton Narkle (34 disposals) played arguably his best game for Geelong, who were also well served by defender Tom Stewart and captain Joel Selwood.
The Suns’ better players included backman Will Powell and on-baller Touk Miller.
Blues hold off lowly Hawks
Carlton has survived an almighty scare to edge Hawthorn by 23 points for its first win over the Hawks at the MCG in 21 years.
The Blues simply had to take care of the struggling Hawks. Otherwise pressure on coach David Teague would have gone to extreme levels.
It was rarely pretty, but Carlton did enough to secure its fourth win of the season and maintain pressure on the top eight.
The Hawks were unable to capitalise on their dominance during the last quarter as Coleman Medal leader Harry McKay roosted the match-winning goal with four minutes to go and the Blues prevailed 13.8 (86) to 9.9 (63).
The result broke a run of nine Hawthorn wins against Carlton at the MCG, with the Blues’ previous victory over the Hawks at the ground coming in round 17, 2000.
The Hawks had plenty of chances to secure a third win of the season but were their own worst enemy.
Jacob Koschitzke should have put Hawthorn in front during time-on of the third term but inexplicably played on after taking a towering mark in the goal square and was caught holding the ball.
The Blues then swept the ball down the other end and Michael Gibbons slotted his first goal of the game.
Carlton was able to put through two more goals before three-quarter time — including Marc Murphy’s set shot after the siren — to lead by 19 points at the final change.
Blues star Sam Walsh got it done when the game was on the line, gathering 20 disposals and kicking a goal in the first half.
Tom Mitchell was at his prolific best for the Hawks, finishing with 44 disposals, while veteran Luke Breust kicked a game-high three goals.
Carlton faces a daunting task against Sydney at the SCG in round 11, while Hawthorn (2-8) travels to Darwin for a clash with Gold Coast on Saturday night.