GEELONG has celebrated skipper Aaron Black's 100th VFL game in style with a 57-point Round 6 victory against Coburg at GMHBA Stadium on Thursday night.
The Cats were dominant early kicking the first three goals of the game inside the opening seven minutes and never looked back, winning 15.15 (105) to 7.6 (48).
Josh Jenkins was outstanding in attack with six majors, while ruckman Darcy Fort (24 disposals) and onballers Charlie Constable (33 disposals) and Oscar Brownless (26 disposals) were strong contributors for the Cats.
Coach Shane O'Bree was impressed by the team's response following last week's defeat to Casey.
"We had our opportunities last week and shot ourselves in the foot with some of our attack and defence behind our attack, and they were the main focuses tonight and I thought our boys did it really well," O'Bree said post-game.
"We've responded off five day breaks twice now which goes to show the boys are pretty fit and hardened to back up after short turnarounds."
Geelong setup the victory with a dominant opening quarter with Fort and ruckman Rhys Stanley outstanding in the middle helping the Cats win nine of the first 10 clearances.
That gave the Cats forwards plenty of opportunities with Jenkins and Ben Jarvis kicking two goals apiece, while Jackson McLachlan was busy roaming outside the forward 50 arc with two goal-assists, helping the Cats to a 35-point lead at quarter time.
“Something we definitely focused on was our start, so we geared ourselves up for it and I think we executed what we wanted to execute, got on top in the middle, used the footy well and gave our big forwards some opportunities,” Stanley said post-game.
The coach agreed.
“I thought we matched them around the contest and actually used our strengths going forward, and got those entries into ‘JJ’ (Josh Jenkins) and ‘Jarvo’ (Ben Jarvis)," O'Bree said.
“And our pressure when the ball hit the ground; when we locked it in, more goals resulted from that.
“I thought the first quarter set the scene. It was just a matter of us sticking to the process.”
And stick to the process they did indeed with the second term starting just like the first with Jenkins kicking the opening two goals of the quarter to extend Geelong’s lead to 48 points.
Coburg responded through Aaron Clarke before Jenkins setup Francis Evans who helped extend the Cats lead to 49-points into the main break.
The visitors came out of the sheds with the greater intensity and were rewarded early with Luke Nelson converting a tough opportunity from a tight angle.
Coburg had the ascendancy for most of the quarter with more inside 50 entries, but Geelong’s defence held up well with Nathan Kreuger a standout in his return to the side with several intercept marks and important spoils.
“I think that’s the best defensive game I’ve seen him play,” O’Bree said post-game.
“A lot of times he was right up on his opponent, closing speed, spoil, just hard to play against as a defender and then just his composure with ball in hand.
“It shows he has done the work during his rehab and he played really well tonight.”
Luke Smith kicked two third quarter goals, while Evans kicked a freakish snag from mid-air, but two late goals from Coburg including a goal to Sam Lowson on the three-quarter time siren saw the Cats lead cut to 42-points at the final break.
Geelong dominated the final quarter keeping the opposition goalless to run out 57-point victors.
The Cats move to 4-1 for the season and will face Collingwood in Round 7 at the MCG on Saturday 29 May at 4.45pm.
Geelong 6.6 9.9 13.11 15.15 (105)
Coburg 1.1 2.2 7.5 7.6 (48)
Goals: Jenkins 6, Jarvis, Evans, Smith 2, Stevens, Fort, Johnston
Best: Fort, Constable, McLachlan, Kreuger, Brownless, Thurlow
@ GMHBA Stadium