Geelong batter Blues in 78-point victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong batter Blues in 78-point victory

By Roger Vaughan 07/04/2007 11:51:13 PM Comments (0)

Geelong stomped on Carlton's AFL resurgence at Telstra Dome on Saturday night, smashing the Blues by 78 points in a record-breaking performance.

The Cats posted their highest score and biggest winning margin against the Blues, winning 24.18 (162) to 12.12 (84).

Much-hyped recruit Tom Hawkins had the Cats fans in raptures with three second-half goals in his AFL debut.

Geelong learnt their lessons from last week's round-one loss at the same venue to the Western Bulldogs, running Carlton off their feet.

Stung by their poor games last week, All-Australian full-back Matthew Scarlett and ruck-forward Brad Ottens impressed in a faultless team performance.

David Wojcinski was also outstanding with his run out of defence, Nathan Ablett kicked five goals, brother Gary Jnr had 28 touches and Cameron Mooney also kicked five goals after a poor opening term.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson had been confident his team would be better against the Blues, saying they felt "filthy" about last Sunday after a strong pre-season.

But he stressed it was only one win.

"Tonight was just refreshing, it was exciting to play the way we did - we haven't played like that for a long, long time," Thompson said.

"It was fun to watch, really.

"Tonight was great, but let's not get fooled by one match.

"Carlton had a pretty good winning run, five winning games, and they were due for a game like tonight."

The Cats kicked five goals in eight minutes to start the third quarter, killing off the game, and outscored the Blues in the second half by 14 goals to seven.

It was the ideal way for Hawkins and fellow high-profile recruit Travis Varcoe to make their AFL debuts and they showed glimpses of their rich potential.

Hawkins, the son of former Cats key defender "Jumping" Jack Hawkins, kicked his first AFL goal with a booming kick from outside 50m late in the third term.

Thompson had freely talked up Hawkins in the last few weeks and the 18-year-old took little time to adapt to senior football.

Carlton coach Denis Pagan handed Hawkins a massive compliment, comparing him to the AFL's record goalkicker.

"Gee, he looks a likely type - I couldn't help but think he's an 18-year-old Tony Lockett, isn't he?".

Thompson was rapt with Hawkins' performance, but cautioned against expecting too much from him.

"Tom did exactly what we wanted to do, maybe a little bit more," he said.

"We knew he'd mark the ball a few times and maybe kick one or two goals, he ended up with three ... it was a reasonable effort.

"He probably kicked (for goal) better tonight than he has in the four months he's been at the club, so don't expect that every week."

Varcoe, wearing the No.5 guernsey made famous by AFL legend Gary Ablett Snr, goalled with his first kick in the AFL and the small forward finished with two for the game.

At the other end of the ground, Carlton full-forward Brendan Fevola went goal-less and captain Lance Whitnall continued his poor start to the season.

Whitnall's poor form has come after a well-publicised falling out with his brother that has ended up in court.

Pagan again pledged support to his skipper, who ended up in defence for the second half.

"We've got to support him, he's not going well, he knows that, he's trying as hard as he can," Pagan said.

"How do you know how someone responds to that sort of stuff (off-field problems) - you put yourself in his position."

But Pagan also praised Fevola for continuing to try throughout the match.

Pagan said the Blues now faced a major challenge to make sure Saturday night's disaster did not undo the resurgence of the last few weeks.

"Where does it all start? It probably starts with your attitude, how do we know what our guys were thinking?," he said.

"I've said it all along, we're going to cop a couple of hits on the way through, I didn't want it to be as big as that.

"The real challenge for us is now."

The Cats will regain top midfielder James Kelly from suspension next Sunday against Melbourne, while Steven King, Max Rooke and David Johnson will also push for selection.

Steve Johnson also kicked five goals earlier on Saturday in the VFL, but his club-imposed suspension until round seven for off-field misbehaviour will stand.

Geelong's previous highest score against Carlton of 22.12 was posted in 1925, while its old record margin of 73 points over Carlton had stood since 1933.

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