GEELONG has held Fremantle goalless for almost three quarters on the way to a 32-point AFL win at a wet and slippery Optus Stadium.
The Dockers didn’t score their first goal until the dying minutes of the third quarter of Monday night’s match, with Geelong pulling away in the final term to post the 6.12 (48) to 2.4 (16) win in front of 20,251 fans.
Fremantle’s final total only narrowly surpassed the club-low 1.7 (13) they posted in a 117-point loss to Adelaide in 2009.
They wouldn’t have got there if it wasn’t for Caleb Serong’s goal from the boundary with just one minute remaining in the match.
The result lifted Geelong (5-3) up to third on the ladder, while the Dockers (2-6) are 16th.
Geelong forward Tom Hawkins finished with three goals, including two in the final term to kill off Fremantle for good.
Geelong midfielder Cam Guthrie (30 disposals, eight clearances) and Mark Blicavs (24 hitouts, 19 disposals, eight clearances) were also crucial in the win.
Fremantle midfielder Serong (22 disposals) kept star Cat Patrick Dangerfield to 18 possessions.
Veteran Michael Walters limped off late with what appeared to be a hamstring complaint.
The Dockers suffered a big blow before the match when Brennan Cox was ruled out with hip soreness, leaving them without their best four key defenders.
Fremantle were dealt more bad luck when midfielder Darcy Tucker tore his right hamstring after just three minutes.
Geelong debutant Brad Close made the perfect start to the match with the opening goal inside the first minute.
But the rest of the first half was a scrappy dogfight as both sides struggled in the constant rain.
Geelong won the inside 50m count 14-5 in the second quarter, but their only goal came courtesy of a Mitch Duncan soccer in the goal square.
The AFL’s goal review system had a say in both goals in the third term.
Hawkins was deemed to have gotten a toe nail to the ball just centimetres before the goalline.
And Fremantle finally got on the board when the review system overturned the behind that the goal umpire was going to award for Matt Taberner’s 40m set shot.
Remarkably, the Dockers were just 18 points down after Taberner’s goal, but Hawkins sealed victory with two goals in the final term.
Geelong won the inside 50m count 47-27 for the match, and clearances 40-31.
(C) AAP 2020
GEELONG 1.2 2.9 3.9 6.12 (48)
FREMANTLE 0.2 0.3 1.3 2.4 (16)
Goals: Geelong: T Hawkins 3 B Close M Duncan S Menegola. Fremantle: C Serong M Taberner.
Umpires: Dean Margetts, Nicholas Foot, John Howorth.
Official Crowd: 20,251 at Optus Stadium.