Travis Varcoe super goal stunner
Travis Varcoe kicks a super goal against the Crows
Harry Taylor of the Cats marks over Taylor Walker of the Crows during the 2013 NAB Cup round 02 match between the Geelong Cats and the Adelaide Crows at Simonds Stadium, Geelong. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
GEELONG has demonstrated its intent to hit the ground running this season by cantering to a 63-point victory over Adelaide at Simonds Stadium.
Aided by a howling wind and some brilliant play from comeback kid Travis Varcoe, the Cats were 42 points up at the opening change and they were never headed from there, winning 2.16.12 (126) to 1.8.6 (63).
Harry Taylor led the way from the backline, gathering 31 possessions while holding Crows forward Taylor Walker goalless.
Veteran midfielder Jimmy Bartel (28 touches and two goals) was also dominant, as was James Kelly, who gathered 25 possessions and laid 11 tackles.
Rookie-listed ruckman Mark Blicavs held his own against Adelaide big man Sam Jacobs, in the process adding to speculation that he could be promoted to the club's senior list for round one of the home and away season.
Blicavs brought the small crowd to life when he booted a goal after taking a strong mark in the third quarter.
And there were plenty more highlights for the Cats. Varcoe started the home side's onslaught when he dashed through the middle of the ground and slotted a brilliant supergoal early in the first quarter.
Jordan Murdoch also hit the scoreboard in spectacular fashion when he took a contested mark, then played on and nailed a tough shot from the left pocket.
Adelaide's most effective contributors were star midfielders Patrick Dangerfield (31 possessions, three goals and 10 clearances) and Scott Thompson (25 touches).
But the Crows lacked their usual intensity, and they used the ball very poorly when kicking with the wind.
It was a particularly impressive performance from Geelong, considering first-choice players Joel Selwood, Tom Hawkins, Joel Corey, Josh Hunt, Trent West, Nathan Vardy, Tom Lonergan, Allen Christensen and Steve Johnson were all watching from the sidelines.
In contrast, the Crows were missing only last year's rising star winner Daniel Talia, midfielder Rory Sloane and small forward Jared Petrenko.
But the Cats' victory may have come at a cost.
Veteran Paul Chapman, who gathered five possessions and booted a supergoal in the first term, had to be subbed out of the game at quarter-time with an injury problem.