GEELONG has flexed its premiership muscles while extinguishing the finals chances of an insipid Essendon with a 66-point romp at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon.

The Cats blew the game apart with five goals in the opening 13 minutes of the match and did not relent, winning 17.6 (108) to 5.12 (42).

The victory moves them to second spot and sets up a tantalising Friday night blockbuster against premier Richmond, which will shape the top-four chances of both teams.

08:21 Mins
Published on

Match Highlights (R16)

The Cats and Bombers clash in round 16

Published on

Essendon can mathematically still make the eight, needing to win its final two games and rely on a heap of losses elsewhere, but could be put out of its misery on Tuesday night if Greater Western Sydney defeats Adelaide.

However, after Sunday's performance, they deserve to be nowhere near the finals.

02:12 Mins
Published on

Bews post-match (R16)

Jed Bews speaks after a dominant performance against Essendon. Presented by Ford.

Published on

Geelong did as it pleased, leading by 30 points at quarter-time and 59 at the half, moving the ball swiftly and under little pressure to give its potent forward line ample chances.

Essendon were horrid, beaten badly around the contest and unable to match the Cats when the ball got to the outside.

00:58 Mins
Published on

Dahlhaus inside the team song (R16)

Luke Dahlhaus takes the GoPro into the team song. Presented by Morris Finance.

Published on

Sam Menegola had a picnic, racking up 30 disposals and kicking two goals, one following a lovely build-up that included slick hands from Tom Hawkins and an exquisite squared pass from Patrick Dangerfield early in the second term. 

READ - Our organisation is participating in the SBS Inclusion Program

Hawkins now leads the Coleman Medal by a whopping 10 after kicking four goals, while Gryan Miers kicked three and Tom Stewart (24), Mitch Duncan (19) and Dangerfield (17 and two goals) all had an influence.

The Bombers were best served by Zach Merrett (24 disposals), while Sam Draper showed some promise in the ruck.

Should this unheralded Cat be All Australian?

Part of Geelong's big improvement in 2020 has been the emergence of its unheralded midfielders. With Joel Selwood missing some footy and Patrick Dangerfield spending more time forward, Cam Guthrie and Sam Menegola have taken huge strides, and the latter was again sensational against the Bombers. Playing on his first Father's Day, Menegola set the tone for his team early, gathering 11 first-quarter disposals to pilot the Cats to a match-winning lead. His 30 touches included two goals and 11 score involvements, continuing a fantastic season that should put him right in the frame for All-Australian selection.

Bombers' first-quarter woes continue

Essendon turned up to the Gabba less than an hour before the opening bounce and during the first quarter it appeared as if half the team was still on the bus. It's a theme that has followed them all season. From the moment Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti inexplicably missed a handpass to Irving Mosquito rather than take the routine 15m set shot in the opening minute, it was all downhill. Essendon trailed by 30 at quarter-time, the eighth straight game they've failed to kick more than one goal early. Incredibly, the Bombers haven't won an opening term since round two against Sydney.

10:43 Mins
Published on

Scott post-match (R16)

Watch Geelong's press conference after their round 16 match against Essendon

Published on

Who comes out when Gaz returns?

Chris Scott is going to have a serious selection headache when Gary Ablett returns following another outstanding showing from his small forward brigade. Gryan Miers (15 disposals and three goals) and Luke Dahlhaus (16 and one goal) were exceptional and appear virtual locks for the finals, with Brad Close and Tom Atkins set to battle out the final spot. Friday's match against Richmond is their last audition before Ablett is available to return in round 18 against Sydney.

GEELONG       6.2       12.3     14.4     17.6 (108)
ESSENDON     1.2       2.4       3.8       5.12 (42)

GOALS
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Miers 3, Bews 2, Blicavs 2, Dangerfield 2, Menegola 2, Dahlhaus, Rohan
Essendon: Redman, Shiel, Stewart, Stringer, Townsend

Round 16 Wrap Up

Round 16 Wrap Up

BEST
Geelong: Menegola, Hawkins, Stewart, Duncan, Miers, Dangerfield
Essendon: Merrett, Parish, Draper, Smith

INJURIES
Geelong: Tuohy (ribs, replaced in selected side by Z.Guthrie); Stanley (replaced in selected side by Jenkins).
Essendon: Mosquito (knee).