AFL Cats overpower Adelaide in second half

Geelong forwards Tom Hawkins and Dan Menzel combined for eight goals as the Cats extended Adelaide’s miserable record at Simonds Stadium with a 30-point AFL victory.

Hawkins had only managed nine goals in his previous nine games against the Crows, but was able to turn that history on its head with a four-goal haul on Saturday night.

Menzel also slotted four majors, including the sealer early in the final term as the Cats won 12.13 (85) to 7.13 (55) to vault back into the top four.

Adelaide arrived in Geelong riding high in second spot on the ladder and on an eight-match winning streak.

Their sorry record at Simonds Stadium now reads just three wins from 19 attempts – with the most recent of those victories taking place way back in 2003.

Adelaide will be sweating on a hip injury which prematurely ended the night of key defender Daniel Talia, who has been widely tipped to be named the 2016 All-Australian fullback.

Geelong made a late decision to rest ruckman Zac Smith, leaving Rhys Stanley to go one out against star Adelaide big man Sam Jacobs.

The decision paid an early dividend with Stanley pushing forward to kick the home side’s opening goal, although Jacobs was to remain an influential contributor throughout the night.

Josh Jenkins took little time to begin repaying Adelaide for the new five-year, $3 million-plus deal he signed on Thursday by booting three of the Crows’ five first-half goals.

But the scoring dried up for the visitors after the long break as Geelong broke the contest wide open with a five-goals-to-nil third term.

On the night he tied Ian Nankervis’s club record of 325 games, defender Corey Enright was among the Cats’ best players.

Fringe players Jed Bews and Sam Menegola were also impressive, with Bews shutting down dangerous Crows’ goalsneak Eddie Betts for the second time this year.

The Cats have another home clash against fellow top-four contenders in the Western Bulldogs on Friday night, while Adelaide should have little trouble getting back onto the winners’ list when they host Essendon on Sunday week.

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