Geelong has again stepped up in the second half to grind out a 21-point win against a wayward St Kilda under the roof at Docklands.
- Geelong has won its sixth game of the season in a tighter-than-expected win over St Kilda
- The Saints had only themselves to blame as they kicked nine behinds before scoring their first goal in the second quarter
- St Kilda also has injury concerns with ruckmnan Rowan Marshall subbed off in the third term with a foot problem
In a low-scoring scrap on Friday night, the Cats clicked into gear after the main break to record their sixth win of the season.
It was nowhere near as convincing as their irresistible third-quarter demolition of reigning premiers Richmond in last week’s AFL grand final rematch but it was enough.
The Saints trailed by just five points at three-quarter-time and still appeared a genuine chance of an upset victory, but simply lacked polish as Geelong ran out winners 10.8 (68) to 5.17 (47).
Adding to St Kilda’s pain was a foot injury to Rowan Marshall, with the important ruckman distraught after being subbed off for Ben Long in the third quarter.
The Saints dominated early but only led by three points at half-time completely thanks to some diabolical finishing in front of goal.
The Saints sprayed nine behinds before their first goal came through Max King 10 minutes into the second quarter.
But King’s (1.5) night went downhill from there, with his case of yips worsening and he even fell over by himself inside-50 when running into an open goal.
Most of their shots were more than gettable, while Geelong converted opportunities at the other end.
Former Hawthorn wingman Isaac Smith was a game-breaker for the Cats, while midfielders Joel Selwood and Cameron Guthrie delivered.
Tom Hawkins, Gary Rohan and the unheralded Brad Close kicked two goals each for Geelong on a night when scoring proved difficult.
Geelong defender Zach Tuohy had the crowd on their feet in the first quarter when he launched a torpedo from a kick-out which almost hit the roof and journeyed past halfway on the ground.
The Cats will be back at Kardinia Park next Saturday when they host Gold Coast, while St Kilda (4-5) tackle the Western Bulldogs, another premiership contender, in round 10.