Geelong has underpinned a dominant home and away season with a Premiership after beating Sydney by 81 points in Saturday’s AFL grand final.
Small firsts and clear favorites to win their first flag since 2011, the Cats lived up to their tally of finishing the halftime playoff as a contest before claiming a 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) win in front of 100,024 fans sealed the MKG.
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The disappointing Swans conceded 11 shots on goal in the first quarter and never threatened to meet a Geelong side backed by several stars playing at Norm Smith Medal level.
Tom Hawkins scored the first two goals of the game but it was Isaac Smith’s brace in a three-minute window that suggested a bloodbath was on the horizon.
Hawkins could have had a pocket at the end of the day but the wayward key forward finished with three goals, four from behind, while Smith snapped 3.1 and Tyson Stengle completed his stunning comeback season at 4.1.
Patrick Dangerfield, playing his 303rd game, missed a triumphant major himself, but 26 disposals, nine clearances and a whopping six assists sealed the 2016 Brownlow medalist’s legacy as one of the game’s all-time greats.
“This is Everest. That’s the high point,” he explained.
“It was worth the wait and is better than I could have ever imagined. It’s bloody special.”
And there may not be any clarity about the future of Cats captain Joel Selwood, but the 34-year-old held his own as he became the first player in club history to win four Premierships.
He sparked questions about a possible retirement when, after getting on the scoreboard with three minutes remaining in the final quarter, he buried his head in his hands and was bullied by teammates.
“I’m sorry. They’re so hard to win,” an emotional Selwood told Channel 7 after the game.
“Every side says it, but I think we deserve it. We just blew away, we don’t apologize for being up there every year.
“This has been built for five or six years, there have been a lot of people coming in and out of the program – I hope they sit back and smile. That’s more than a 12-month journey.”
Victory in Chris Scott’s 200th game in charge also put an end to any claims that the 2011 Premiership manager wasn’t the man to get the Cats back on track.
Chad Warner was best on the ground in just his 39th senior game for Sydney, scoring two goals from time with 25 touches, seven clearances and five tackles.
There’s more to come…
https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/geelong-take-out-legacy-sealing-premiership-with-dominant-afl-grand-final-win-over-sydney-c-8343321 AFL Grand Final: The Geelong Cats seal the Premiership with a dominant win over the Sydney Swans