That’s all for tonight. Thanks for tuning in over the past four hours.
Damien Ractliffe here, good night.
Sam Simpson looks set to be sidelined for a few weeks with a hamstring injury, so who’s to come in?
Gary Ablett is expected to return by the time finals roll around. Jack Steven was left out tonight, as was young star Brad Close.
Esava Ratugolea finds himself on the outer now after a strong performance from Rhys Stanley in the ruck. Luke Dahlhaus also has a lot of competition on his spot, while Charlie Constable is waiting in the wings.
Ken Hinkley talking…
On whether the side reviews that loss: “You have to look at it. We had a really strong performance last week. We just didn’t play with the energy you need and the hunt and Geelong did. It’s a bit of an outlier for us. It’s hard to explain. It’s such an unusual season. To Geelong’s absolute credit, they’ve been in really good form and they were able to carry that into this week and we weren’t.”
On Hawkins’ game: “Hawk had a big night. It’s simplistic to look at it and say Hawk won his battle … our backline needs support like every backline does if you’re going to be effective and that’s by putting pressure on the ball. The game itself, we felt like we had plenty of opportunities around the contest but they were cleaner.”
On whether the team rely too heavily on Dixon: “Not really. It’s a battle tonight we lost. Charlie’s dealt with two or three on him. We got cleaned up on the floor as much as we did in the air in our forward half.”
Chris Scott talking…
On whether it was the Cats’ best win this season: “Last week was pretty good. It’s just a strange year isn’t it? It was always going to be a challening period for us but I think it’s challenging for everyone. Tonight a few things went well for us. I think the signs are good but I don’t think we’ll be drawing too many conclusions.
On whether Tom Hawkins is in career-best form: “He’s been a pretty good player over a long period of time. Really we have evolved a fair bit through Tom’s career. I said a couple of weeks ago that I think he’s in the best shape I’ve seen him in. Age is probably not the relevant factor. He’s really become a true pro. I’ve always got a bias towards the present but I can’t remember him playing much better.
On talking down the win: “We’re happy, absolutely, and I don’t mean to talk it down but I’m just wary this is a bit more unusal than previous seasons. The good teams will have their moments both ways. But I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
On welcoming Gary Ablett back to the group: “I’m going to keep my message to the Abletts private. That’s the way I want to handle it. Gary’s had several concerns that he’s been working through over the last year or so. It’ll be great to have him back but if he needs to stay we’ll be right behind him as well.”
Geelong key forward Tom Hawkins is used to challengers arriving on the horizon full of bluster and pop guns, writes Pete Ryan.
This time it was Port Adelaide that stood on the hill like extras in a spaghetti western and threatened to take the mantle of premiership contender off both the Cats and their genial key forward who has played in two flags.
Leading the charge was the raw-boned, bearded Port recalcitrant Charlie Dixon, who had been playing the best football of his career in 2020, his aggressive posture and strong hands making him a huge weapon inside 50 for Port Adelaide.
But in the first half Hawkins ended the battle before it really started. He owned the space behind his hapless opponent Tom Clurey to kick three in the first half while Dixon, denied ammunition, went without a touch.
Just five games left in the season for Port Adelaide and Geelong…
The Cats will enjoy a nine-day break to next week’s match against winless Adelaide before a match against the Bulldogs. Then they’ll have a bye, before finishing the season against Essendon, Richmond and Sydney.
The Power can bounce back with games against Hawthorn and Sydney at home in the next two weeks before a bye. Their season then wraps up with North Melbourne, Essendon and Collingwood.
Port Adelaide holds onto top spot for now, on 36 points.
Geelong has moved into second on 32 points with a comp-high percentage of 138.5.
Brisbane is also on 32 points and they can move into second against North Melbourne tomorrow.
Geelong, the greatest team of 2020?
Disposals: Cats 330, Power 251
Inside 50s: Cats 47, Power 37
Clearances: Cats 31, Power 30
Contested possessions: Cats 127, Power 106
Uncontested possessions: Cats 208, Power 138
Marks: Cats 108, Power 53
Marks inside 50: Cats 18, Power 2
Contested marks: Cats 17, Power 4
Tom Hawkins was the star of the show with 17 disposals, 10 marks and six goals.
Cam Guthrie had 27 touches, five tackles and three clearances.
Patrick Dangerfield finished with 24 touches, four tackles and five clearances.
Mitch Duncan had 20 touches, six tackles, two clearances and a goal.
Travis Boak was Port’s best with 24 touches, four tackles and seven clearances.
Gary Rohan also kicked three.