Win comes at a cost for Geelong

Win comes at a cost for Geelong

GEELONG’S three-point win over Melbourne on Sunday has come at a significant cost with star defender Tom Stewart suffering a suspected broken collarbone.

The dual All-Australian backman was hurt in an off-the-ball incident involving Tom McDonald, who moved towards Stewart before the pair bumped shoulders in a seemingly innocuous clash.

Stewart came off second best and was ruled out at quarter-time.

It was a sour note for the Cats on a day when they failed to impress but did enough to outlast Melbourne in a dour 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44) win.

The match didn’t come alive until the final few minutes, when Cats defender Mark O’Connor’s horror turnover in the back pocket allowed Angus Brayshaw to kick a goal that cut the margin to four points.

Off-season recruit Adam Tomlinson had the chance to win the match for Melbourne in the dying stages but his set shot from 50m drifted just wide.

Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Sam Menegola and Patrick Dangerfield were all busy for Geelong as Darcy Fort and Esava Ratugolea worked hard to prevent Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn from dominating.

The Demons enjoyed a 32-23 clearance advantage and had eight more inside-50s but were undone by their inefficiency.

Melbourne made five changes for their second match in the space of three months after sitting out in round three when their clash with Essendon was postponed.

They took time to settle and went goalless in the first quarter, but flipped the script in the second term to take a 2.3 (15) to 2.2 (14) lead into halftime.

The ugly contest produced the lowest-scoring first half of 2020 with few highlights to speak of despite the match being played in perfect conditions.

Ratugolea started the second half in the ruck and enjoyed a five-minute purple patch as the Cats slammed on the first three goals of the third term to put a break on their opponents.

The Dees looked out of it until the final few minutes when Brayshaw gave them a sniff.

The tough on-baller kicked two majors as the only multiple goal kicker for either side on the day.

Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney and Christian Petracca were among Melbourne’s best ball-winners and Kysaiah Pickett often looked dangerous in attack without kicking a goal.

Geelong next host in-form Gold Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday, while Melbourne face a trip north to take on Sydney at the SCG.

(C) AAP 2020

GEELONG 2.1 2.2 6.4 7.5 (47)

MELBOURNE 0.1 2.3 3.5 6.8 (44)

Goals: Geelong: B Parfitt C Guthrie D Fort E Ratugolea M Duncan P Dangerfield T Hawkins. Melbourne: A Brayshaw 2 B Fritsch C Petracca J Hunt T McDonald.

Umpires: Shaun Ryan, Nicholas Foot, Paul Rebeschini, John Howorth.

Venue: MCG.