Geelong survived a spirited comeback from Melbourne to hold on for a three-point win at the MCG but the result has come at a significant cost, with star defender Tom Stewart suffering a suspected broken collarbone.
- The Cats won a match that produced the lowest-scoring first half of the 2020 season
- Brisbane kicked 23 behinds among its 33 scoring shots in their win over the Crows
- The Lions hold a 3-1 win-loss record following the victory at the Gabba
The dual All-Australian backman was hurt in an off-the-ball incident involving Tom McDonald, who moved towards Stewart before the pair bumped shoulders in a seemingly innocuous clash.
Stewart came off second best and was ruled out at quarter-time.
It was a sour note for the Cats on a day when they failed to impress but did enough to outlast Melbourne in a dour 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44) win.
The match did not come alive until the final few minutes, when Cats defender Mark O’Connor’s horror turnover in the back pocket allowed Angus Brayshaw to kick a goal that cut the margin to four points.
Off-season recruit Adam Tomlinson had the chance to win the match for Melbourne in the dying stages but his set shot from 50 metres out drifted just wide.
Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Sam Menegola and Patrick Dangerfield were all busy for Geelong throughout the match, as Darcy Fort and Esava Ratugolea worked hard to prevent Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn from dominating.
The ugly contest produced the lowest-scoring first half of 2020 with few highlights to speak of despite the match being played in perfect conditions.
The Demons looked out of it until the final few minutes when Brayshaw gave them a sniff.
The tough on-baller kicked two majors as the only multiple goal kicker for either side on the day.
Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney and Christian Petracca were among Melbourne’s best ball-winners and Kysaiah Pickett often looked dangerous in attack without kicking a goal.
Off-target Lions beat Crows
A wayward Brisbane Lions outfit prevailed by 37 points against the struggling Adelaide Crows in an AFL win punctuated by more injury concerns for captain Dayne Zorko.
The Lions dominated to lead by 40 points at half-time at the Gabba, but were almost made to pay for their wastefulness when the winless Crows kicked four-unanswered goals to get within 16 in the third term.
But, after seven consecutive behinds, Brisbane’s Zac Bailey kicked straight and Daniel Rich skipped one through from 60 metres out, as the hosts shot away to a 10.23 (83) to 7.4 (46) win.
Zorko missed last week’s defeat of West Coast with a similar injury and his return was short-lived, limping off to have his calf strapped as half-time loomed.
Lachie Neale (0.5) and Hugh McLuggage (1.5) managed 10 behinds between them to offset an inside-50 count more than double that of their rivals.
A third straight victory moves Brisbane (3-1) to equal second on the ladder behind the unbeaten Port Adelaide. The two teams will face each other at the Gabba next Saturday night.
Crows skipper Rory Sloane looked to roll his ankle but completed the match, while second-gamer Will Hamill (concussion) was a casualty and emerging forward Darcy Fogarty was a late scratching after hurting his shoulder on Friday at training.
Those injuries heaped more misery on a Crows side, flogged last week by Gold Coast and still facing two more weeks in their Queensland hub.
Former Crow Charlie Cameron enjoyed the return of 8,312 vocal spectators, taking a huge final-quarter mark and employing his trademark handlebars celebration after a second goal.