Gary Ablett wound back the clock on Saturday at the AFL venue where he regularly produced command performances earlier in his career, inspiring Geelong to a 37-point victory over North Melbourne.

The Cats and the Kangaroos entered the round-12 encounter at GMHBA Stadium with identical 7-4 win-loss records but it was Chris Scott’s outfit who looked a class above for much of the day.

Tom Hawkins was the dominant forward on the ground, with 23 disposals, 11 marks and three goals in the 14.12 (96) to 8.11 (59) victory.

But the biggest roar of the day was reserved for Ablett, who iced the game with a fine running goal in the final quarter.

Ablett had battled injury and form issues in the opening couple of months of his second stint at Geelong after a seven-year sabbatical on the Gold Coast.

The 34-year-old turned that around with a best-on-ground performance last weekend away to the Suns and backed it up on Saturday with another excellent display, finishing with a match-high 34 possessions, eight tackles and a goal.

“He’s not an all-or-nothing player around the ball,” said Scott.

“Because he is inside and is quite strong, especially with his centre of gravity over the ball, his ability to dispossess the opposition is pretty good.

“… I think he still has got improvement in him now, from where he is at the moment.

“I’m not suggesting he can play his best footy because there might not be many who have played better footy than him in his prime

“But I think it is just a logical progression given where he has been with his body and his preparation and adjusting to life with new teammates.”

With Coleman Medal pacesetter Ben Brown held scoreless by Mark Blicavs and fellow key forward Jarrad Waite missing a second-straight match with a calf strain, the Kangaroos clearly lacked a cutting edge in attack.

The visitors could only manage one goal in each of the first two quarters to trail by 25 points at the long break.

Gun midfielder Ben Cunnington stepped up after a quiet first half as the Kangaroos came back into the contest in the third quarter, cutting the margin to 18 points.

Midway through the third term, Geelong lost makeshift defender Aaron Black to a knee injury.

Ruckman Todd Goldstein’s goal to open the final term got the Kangaroos within 10 points but that was the signal for the Cats to up the ante, kicking the next five majors to seal victory.

Their next challenge is an even bigger one – trying to snap reigning premiers Richmond’s unbeaten 15-match MCG winning streak on Sunday week.

“I read that it is impossible to beat Richmond at the MCG so we are going to have our work cut out,” said Scott half-jokingly.

“I’m not sure, we will see.

“We will be going in giving ourselves a chance.

“They have been formidable there – people aren’t just making that up.”

The Kangaroos have the bye in round 13.

© AAP 2018
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The Crowd Says (5)

  • Roar Guru

    June 9th 2018 @ 9:37pm
    Rick Disnick said | June 9th 2018 @ 9:37pm | ! Report

    Where is the nutjob Essendon fan who bet Gazza wouldn’t play more than eight games this year? I tried placing a bet with him, but he ran off crying, only to come back at round 4 gloating.

    To whatever your names is: this is why you never bet against the most obnoxious person on this site. That, and I’m always right.

    Of course, Gazza may well be run over by a bus next week, but the chances of him not making his ninth are as likely as Rick becoming a Gracious Winner.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 1:22am
      dave said | June 10th 2018 @ 1:22am | ! Report

      Ablett to play less than 9 games and Essendon to win the flag.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 10:52am
      Kangas said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

      That bet was about 100/1 abt Essendon flag and Ablett . Taking candy from a baby 👍🏼

    • Roar Guru

      June 10th 2018 @ 1:01pm
      Cat said | June 10th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

      The harsh truth is that bloke is a loud mouth blowhard chicken. Every time anyone calls him out he disappears.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 4:08pm
      truetigerfan said | June 10th 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

      Icky Ricky. Ugh. Yuk.

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