Cats sink Dockers in the wet
Geelong has handed Fremantle it's sixth loss of the season, winning by 32 points in an old fashioned wet weather slog at Optus Stadium.
A late Caleb Serong goal saw the Dockers avoid the ignominy of their lowest ever score, Geelong keeping the home side goalless in the opening half on their way to a 32 point triumph, 6.12 (48) to 2.4 (16) in front of 20,251 fans.
Adding to the pain for Justin Longmuir's men was hamstring injuries for Darcy Tucker and Michael Walters, Tucker injured in the opening minutes of the game and stand in skipper Walters limping from the ground halfway through the final term not to return.
Cats debutant Brad Close kicked the first and only goal of the opening term inside two minutes, converting from his set shot to join the exclusive club of players to kick a goal with their first kick at AFL level.
Torrential rain made ball handling difficult throughout, Geelong able to win the ball around the stoppages and gain field position to put Fremantle under pressure.
Geelong had the only two goals of the opening half when Mitch Duncan broke a goal scoring drought of 45 minutes, helping his side to a vital 18 point lead at the main break.
The rain continued to tumble throughout, the Cats extending their lead thanks to a Tom Hawkins goal off the ground, confirmed by score review.
Just as Dockers fans began to wonder if their team would suffer the embarrassment of a goalless game Matt Taberner converted a set shot from 50 metres, giving his side a faint glimmer of hope at three quarter time.
Chris Scott's men regained control in the last, Hawkins kicking two more goals with West Aussie born Sam Menegola sealing the win with a running goal late in the final term.
Serong's goal in the final moments saved Fremantle from recording their lowest AFL score, but not from a comprehensive defeat in the wet at home.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir lamented a loss of structure in the conditions.
"In the second quarter we lost all structure froward of the ball and Geelong positioned well. We had a lot of players that were trying but Geelong were harder and tougher for longer," he said.
The first year Dockers senior coach confirmed a likely stint on the sidelines for Tucker, but was hopeful on talisman Walters.
"It’s a hamstring strain (on Tucker). With Walters we’re hoping it’s cramp but he will need scans for both tomorrow."
Cameron Guthrie had 30 disposals for the winners, Zach Touhy (27) and the returning Duncan with 26 disposals in a composed display from a Cats side that was missing skipper Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Jack Steven.
Andrew Brayshaw had 27 touches for Freo, David Mundy (24) and tireless defender Luke Ryan (23) working hard on a tough night for the men in purple.
IMAGE: Fremantle FC.