Boom recruit Jeremy Cameron has starred in attack as Geelong dismantled Richmond with a comprehensive 63-point thrashing in their first meeting since last season’s AFL grand final.
The Cats banked a third win in four games and turned the tables on their tormentors of the last few years with a 19.12 (126) to 9.9 (63) victory in front of 54,857 fans at the MCG on Friday night.
Cameron kicked six goals in his biggest haul since his off-season move from GWS and formed a dangerous three-way combination with Tom Hawkins (four goals) and Gary Rohan (five).
The Cats trailed by 18 points at quarter-time but fought back and took complete control of the contest during the third quarter when they piled on eight goals to one.
The avalanche came despite injuries to Sam Simpson and Luke Dahlhaus as Cam Guthrie (36 disposals), Mitch Duncan (30) and Sam Menegola (26) lifted through the midfield.
Geelong had jumped out to an early lead in each of their previous two encounters with Richmond before being overrun, but this time they coughed up an early lead as the Tigers’ ferocious attack on both man and ball gave them a three-goal advantage at the first change.
Former Sydney forward Rohan, who celebrated his 150th game, kicked two important goals during the second term to help get the Cats back into the contest and they hit the front for the first time when Cameron kicked his third major early in the third quarter.
Three dropped marks by Tigers defenders in their defensive 50m zone led to Cats goals, including Rohan’s fourth, as Geelong seized the ascendancy.
Geelong’s trio of experienced off-season recruits — Shaun Higgins, Isaac Smith and Cameron — lined up together for the first time and all had a say in their side’s irresistible performance after quarter-time.
The night got worse for Richmond when they lost gun midfielder Shane Edwards to an ankle injury with the game out of their reach in the final term.
Tigers superstar Dustin Martin had 21 disposals on return after a mandatory week off because of concussion and was quiet after half-time under the close watch of Tom Stewart.
Shai Bolton kicked three goals from 21 disposals and delivered a mark of the year contender with a huge leap on Mark Blicavs’ shoulders.
Geelong (5-3) will start favourites against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium in round nine, while Richmond (4-4) need to bounce back in a home clash with GWS.