The Cats were a little cavalier according to coach Chris Scott but Geelong were able to score a comfortable 43-point win in their round-six AFL clash at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.
Melbourne’s winless season continued as the defending premiers improved their record to 4-2 with a 17.17 (119) to 11.10 (76) victory.
Steve Johnson played his best game of the season with three goals and 35 possessions while Paul Chapman and big James Podsiadly also contributed three goals each.
Joel Corey, Mitch Duncan and All-Australian defender Corey Enright also tallied over 30 possessions each for the Cats, while Mitch Clark with four goals and 21 disposals excelled for the Demons.
Clark had three of his side’s six goals by halftime but the Cats led by 28 points and surged further ahead with a six-goal third term before only three goals were kicked in the final quarter, including two to the Geelong.
“We’re playing okay. We were a little cavalier with our ball use at times,” Scott said.
Scott noted the premiers had 10 players in their side with under 50 games worth of experience.
“Their (Melbourne’s) pressure was pretty good. We seemed to let them score a little bit too easily on the back of some of our mistakes,” he said.
“But we got the job done.
“We’re nowhere near our best. Adelaide in Adelaide will be a big test (next Saturday).”
Scott said triple-premiership star Johnson was a capable midfielder but spent most of his time forward because he was so damaging near goal.
Johnson also had seven tackles, four clearances and six inside-50s.
“He has probably been under-rated in terms of his running ability for a long time. He has midfielder-level endurance,” Scott said.
“Defensively he was very good as well. He played a pretty complete game.”
Skipper Joel Selwood (concussion) and defender Tom Lonergan (ankle) were late withdrawals from Geelong’s selected side and acting captain Jimmy Bartel was subbed out in the third quarter with a sore ankle.
Johnson said having a run in midfield was a nice change of pace.
“But he (Selwood) will come back next week and I’ll get stuck down forward again,” Johnson said.
“I enjoy getting up the ground. It gives you a little bit more to add to your bow.”
Melbourne host Hawthorn at the MCG next Friday night.
The Demons gave a much-improved effort than their previous trip to Geelong in round 19 last year when they lost by 186 points, prompting coach Dean Bailey’s sacking.
Melbourne coach Mark Neeld said he couldn’t be disappointed with the efforts of his young side.
“There are some things we’re starting to see that we’re pleased with,” he said.
“In a couple of years’ time, if we come back and get the same result, I’ll be more disappointed.”