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Geelong salute in Selwood's 350th AFL game

3 minute read

Geelong have pummelled the Western Bulldogs with a blistering eight-goal third quarter, setting up a 28-point win in Joel Selwood's 350th AFL game.

JOEL SELWOOD of the Cats runs with the ball during the AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
JOEL SELWOOD of the Cats runs with the ball during the AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Geelong have celebrated courageous captain Joel Selwood's 350th AFL game in style, crushing the Western Bulldogs by 28 points for a 10th straight win.

After conceding the first four goals of Saturday night's game, the slow-starting Cats sprung to life with a powerful 8.2 to 0.3 third quarter to continue their charge towards the minor premiership.

Geelong's best quarter of the year turned an 11-point halftime deficit into a match-winning 36-point lead by threequarter-time at GMHBA Stadium.

The Cats' forward line clicked nicely as Tom Hawkins, Gary Rohan, Jeremy Cameron and Tyson Stengle slotted two goals each in the 14.10 (94) to 9.12 (66) triumph.

Chris Scott's team took time to get going in Selwood's milestone match but gathered serious momentum once they did in a performance sure to put fear into other premiership contenders.

The Cats flipped the Bulldogs' early dominance around the stoppages, as Patrick Dangerfield and Cameron Guthrie enjoyed the ruckwork of big man Jon Ceglar in his Geelong debut.

"The opposition were really good early, and we expected that," Scott said.

"If all you do is look through the names you would be intimidated and expect them to be a real handful and that's what played out early.

"We were a bit fumbly early and didn't handle the pressure well.

"We've been tested a little bit over the last month or so but it must be confidence-building for the players to know when the game's going against us we can change it."

Rohan was subbed out with concussion early in the final term and replaced by midfielder Brandan Parfitt, who came into the game after missing eight weeks with a hand injury.

The disappointing Dogs find themselves back out of the top eight after last week's rousing upset of reigning premiers Melbourne.

Young forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan showed no signs of fatigue after his breakout five-goal performance against the Demons, slotting two first-half majors in another promising display.

But with the Cats' winning the inside-50 count 18-6 in the third term, the Bulldogs forwards were left shell-shocked after their electric start.

One of the Bulldogs' rare highlights was Josh Dunkley (two goal, 24 touches) bringing down a mark-of-the-year contender late in the final quarter.

"There's no doubt they upped the physicality and the pressure and worked us out at centre bounce effectively," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.

"Combined with us not being able to use the ball when we got it back, it made for a bottom-shelf (third) quarter, which is obviously a fair bit more than the margin after our start."

Geelong are back at home next Saturday night to face a desperate St Kilda fighting for a top-eight spot, while the Bulldogs will play slumping Fremantle in a must-win game at Marvel Stadium.

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