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Hawkins crushes Port Adelaide on the Gold Coast

By the time the match ended the margin between the teams was 60 points and the gap between Hawkins and Dixon was six goals.

Alongside him at times was Patrick Dangerfield, who was the second best player on the ground when spending time in the midfield early. As a forward he was a gunslinger, causing more panic than damage, but a factor nonetheless.

After quarter-time Dangerfield was smart enough to clear out of the inside 50, pushing up the ground with his teammates to create numbers around the contest.

Patrick Dangerfield charges out of the centre in Geelong's big win.

Patrick Dangerfield charges out of the centre in Geelong’s big win.Credit:Getty Images

Whenever they won the ball they either kicked it to Hawkins when he was one-on-one or found an unguarded teammate.

It was a throwback to a former era as the confident and classy Hawkins won the ball either on the lead, on the ground, in the contest or over the back, his method adapting to the way in which the ball arrived. He is leading the Coleman Medal and leads the competition for goal assists too.

It’s now 13 years since premiership coach Denis Pagan predicted Hawkins could be the second coming of Tony Lockett but the words have never seemed so true as they did on Friday night.

Despite their dominance, however, Geelong did not stretch the lead out until late in the third quarter.

Until that point the Cats were like a racehorse cruising at the turn like a good thing. The only question was when they would put the foot down. At three-quarter-time they decided enough was enough and put a gap between them and Port Adelaide, with Mark Blicavs exceptional.

Port, despite having two more days’ break than Geelong, looked tired and dispirited and their confidence will have taken a hammering.

Geelong, now entrenched in the top four and having knocked off both the Saints and Port within a week, are entitled to a rest as they plan another tilt at finals in this strangest of years.

NEVER IN DOUBT

Question-marks surrounded the dual premiership defender Harry Taylor leading into this season but his coach never doubted him and he has proved the coach right. He has been in solid form all season but he saved his best for Port’s in-form Charlie Dixon. He did not allow Dixon a mark inside the forward 50 when the game was on the line and showed that his old bones still have plenty of big-time football left in them.

ARE PORT GENUINE CONTENDERS?

It’s hard to know in such a compressed season, particularly after Port beat Richmond but their woeful record against Geelong continues. They have now lost 15 of their past 18 encounters against the Cats, with their rare victory last season coming after the Cats had a bye. They looked tired and lacking the required class against Geelong but they should bounce back.

GEELONG 2.3 4.3 7.7 14.7 (91)
PORT ADELAIDE 0.1 1.6 3.7 4.7 (31)

GOALS
Geelong: Hawkins 6, Rohan 3, Henderson, Menegola, Fogarty, Atkins, Guthrie.
Port Adelaide: Woodcock, Lycett, Georgiades, Farrell.
BEST
Geelong: Hawkins, Blicavs, Dangerfield, Guthrie, Menegola, Taylor.
Port Adelaide: Byrne-Jones, Boak, Amon, Powell-Pepper.
UMPIRES
Stephens, Meredith, Fleer
CROWD
3378 at Metricon Stadium

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