Geelong have snatched top spot on the AFL ladder after crushing West Coast by 44 points at Simonds Stadium to extend their impressive start to the season.
The Eagles produced a stirring third-quarter fightback, trimming the Cats’ lead to 19 points after booting five goals in six-and-a-half minutes.
However, the hosts were far too classy in the final term and triumphed 18.15 (123) to 12.7 (79).
North Melbourne will reclaim top spot on the table if they defeat St Kilda on Sunday, as is expected.
Regardless of Geelong’s position at the end of round seven, their five straight wins suggest they’re one of the form sides of the competition.
Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield were influential on Saturday, as has often been the case this season, tallying a combined 60 disposals, 14 clearances and 15 inside-50s.
But there was no shortage of contributors in the blue-and-white hoops – Steven Motlop, Jimmy Bartel, Josh Caddy and Cameron Guthrie got plenty of ball and used it well, while the pressure of athletic big men Mark Blicavs and Rhys Stanley was telling.
The Cats trailed by three points at quarter-time then took control of the contest in a scintillating second quarter.
They booted seven goals to one in the term, with Motlop kicking three of them.
The ease with which Geelong moved the ball and busted the game open will alarm Eagles coach Adam Simpson and excite Geelong counterpart Chris Scott.
Scott’s men face Adelaide on Friday night, while the Eagles host the Saints.
Scott will be sweating on an update on injured youngsters Nakia Cockatoo and Lincoln McCarthy, while Stanley was reported for a late hit on Brad Sheppard.