Geelong a game clear atop AFL ladder - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Geelong a game clear atop AFL ladder

By Adam Cooper and Sam Lienert 17/06/2007 07:37:22 PM Comments (0)

Geelong moved a game clear atop the AFL ladder after Sunday's 50-point win over the Brisbane Lions stretched their winning streak to seven for a full set of victories over the past month.

The Cats underlined their toughness in the 12.13 (85) to 5.5 (35) scrappy win at Skilled Stadium and gained another percentage boost by keeping the Lions goalless in the first half and to a low finishing score.

Geelong's winning stretch equalled their run in 2002 and is now just one short of their best of recent years; eight in 1991.

Coach Mark Thompson was pleased his side prevailed in another different game, as Sunday's match was played in wet, wintry conditions which rewarded players who were hard at the ball.

In the past month Geelong have beaten Fremantle in windy conditions, thrashed Port Adelaide in the rain, out-classed St Kilda with skill at Telstra Dome and beaten Adelaide in an intense, finals-like game at AAMI Stadium.

The average winning margin during the streak is 56 points and Thompson was rapt his men could succeed in whatever conditions were thrown up.

"We've had all sorts of things," he said.

"We've had wind, we've had that real defensive footy and today was wet, really wet.

"Thinking about our form in the wet recently, it hasn't been that great.

"I thought today was outstanding, we played really smart, wet-weather football for most of the day with our set-up.

"They've all been different games - we've had some big wins, we've had some tight games, defensive games, we've had windy games, we've had rainy games.

"So it's good to win games in all conditions and that's what they've done and we couldn't really ask any more at the moment."

Geelong's latest win put them a game clear of West Coast after the first weekend of round 12, although the Eagles will enter next Sunday's game against struggling St Kilda as warm favourites.

Port Adelaide moved back into the eight by beating Essendon by 31 points at AAMI Stadium on Sunday night.

The Power were intent on making a statement after being labelled soft by coach Mark Williams last weekend, breaking a four-game losing streak with a 19.12 (126) to 13.17 (95) victory, although the Bombers booted the last six goals.

Port's inspired performance began with a mark and goal to pumped-up captain Warren Tredrea in his 200th game and his four majors for the game called an end to his recent struggles.

Third-placed Hawthorn narrowed the percentage gap on the leaders by thrashing Carlton by 100 points on Friday night and their scintillating 27.18 (180) to 12.8 (80) win was another sign of their dramatic rise this season.

Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs posted vital victories on Saturday night and the results could be significant for the losers.

The Bulldogs reeled in Fremantle to win 22.9 (141) to 16.19 (115) in Darwin after the game was up for grabs at the final change, while Adelaide shut down the Kangaroos and cruised to a commanding 46-point win, 15.10 (100) to 7.12 (54) on the Gold Coast.

The Crows' win pushed them into the top four and knocked the Kangaroos out of the eight.

Fremantle's concerns are deeper.

The Dockers are 11th, two games out of the eight with a mediocre percentage and in danger of losing touch despite their rave reviews in the pre-season.

The split round will conclude next weekend when Richmond chase their first win, against Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night, Sydney host Collingwood at Telstra Stadium on Saturday night and the Eagles play the Saints at Subiaco Oval.

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