GEELONG has kept its unbeaten start to the season intact and sits alone atop the ladder after accounting for Brisbane 9.9 (63) to 4.13 (37) in sodden conditions at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Heavy rain fell from the first siren to the last, making for slippery conditions and less-than-beautiful football that kept the scores low and close throughout.

LIONS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Brisbane adjusted to the wet and slippery conditions best with former Cat Lincoln McCarthy kicking the first major of the game.

Brisbane soon added a second goal through Dayne Zorko after Geelong gave away a costly pair of 50-metre penalties.

The Lions dominated the early stages getting the ball forward at every opportunity. They lead the inside 50 count 11-4, before the Cats started to work their way back into the game with their tackling pressure.

A chase down from Tyson Stengle saw the Cats keep the ball in their forward half and Jack Bowes capitalising on a Jack Payne fumble in the goal square to register Geelong’s first major.  

Mark O’Connor showed a clean pair of hands at ground level across half back which ended in a goal to Ollie Henry from 40 metres on the run.

The Cats heading into the quarter time break trailing the Lions by four points.

Brisbane extended their advantage early in the second term with Zorko kicking his second goal of the game.

The second term turned into a game of territory as the rain got heavier and goals became harder to come by.

Brisbane lost their ruck Oscar McInerney which coincided with Geelong getting on top in the clearance count with Brandan Parfitt and Tanner Bruhn leading the charge.

A pacey counterattack from Max Holmes resulted in a Stengle goal to break the deadlock. Geelong’s classy small forwards were involved again with Brad Close finding Ollie Henry at the top of the square to hand the Cats a two-point lead at half time.


Geelong started the third term minus vice-captain Tom Stewart who was subbed out and replaced by Jhye Clark at half time.

It took nine minutes for a goal to be registered in the third term and it was Jarrod Berry who got it to give the Lions back the lead.

Tom Hawkins used his body cleverly to take a contested mark before finding O’Connor in space who stepped up to draw that Cats even with the Lions at 34 apiece.

In a topsy-turvy term both sides exchanged the lead through minor scores before Dangerfield got the clearance and Close took a juggler before calming slotting a set shot from a tight angle to hand the Cats back the lead.

Both sides had chances late in the term but couldn’t capitalise with the Cats taking a seven-point lead into the final term.

A defensive intercept from Zach Guthrie and penetrating kick forward to Gryan Miers saw the Cats extend their lead to 14 points.

Geelong's defenders rallied in the absence of Stewart to all stand up at pivotal moments in the second half. The Lions were out on a couple of occasions, but Sam De Koning, Jake Kolodjashnij and Jack Henry came up with some big spoils, and Guthrie took a couple of strong marks behind the ball.


The Cats would go on to kick the final five goals of the game to run out 26-point winners and continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Stengle was superb all night with his clean disposal a standout in tough conditions finishing with 17 disposals, a career high 11 contested possessions and two goals.

Parfitt lead the team for pressure acts and found plenty of the football again alongside Tanner Bruhn and Jack Bowes.

While Guthrie (21 disposals, 737 metres gained) and Holmes (24 disposals, 667 metres gained) were dominant across half back and generated a lot of penetration on the counter attack finished first and second on the ground for metre gained. 

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Stengle shines in the wet

On a night where small forwards generally battled, Tyson Stengle overcame a slow start to have a major impact. He streamed into goal midway through the second quarter and then expertly set up Ollie Henry for his first minutes later. Stengle finished with two goals from 17 disposals and could have had an even bigger night if he wasn't so unselfish, looking for teammates on multiple occasions when he had the right to shoot for goal. Stengle's clean hands and exquisite skills were a standout in the difficult conditions.

Mark O'Connor v Lachie Neale

Not for the first time in his career, Mark O'Connor was tasked with tagging Brisbane's two-time Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale. The physical Irishman wore Neale like a glove most of the night, but like he's done so often in the past few seasons, the Lions co-captain found a way to impact. Neale finished with 28 disposals, including seven clearances, but O'Connor had his moments, most notably a third quarter goal, where he worked hard into space to take an uncontested mark and slot the set shot.

BRISBANE     2.5      3.8      4.11    4.13 (37)
GEELONG      2.1      4.4      6.6      9.9 (63)

Brisbane: Zorko 2, McCarthy, Berry
Geelong: O.Henry 2, Stengle 2, Bowes, O'Connor, Close, Parfitt

Brisbane: Zorko, Berry, Answerth, Wilmot, Dunkley, Lester
Geelong: Guthrie, Stengle, Holmes, Bruhn, Duncan, Dangerfield

Brisbane: McInerney (concussion)
Geelong: Stewart (concussion)

Brisbane: Jarryd Lyons (replaced Oscar McInerney at half-time)
Geelong: Jhye Clark (replaced Tom Stewart at half-time)

Crowd: 30,429 at the Gabba