In a match similar to the round five meeting between these two clubs, Geelong has pulled away from a determined but ultimately outclassed North Melbourne to win 8.14 (62) to 6.6 (42) at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Saturday afternoon.
A capacity crowd turned out for North's home game on a weekend of football thrown into disarray around the country by the latest COVID outbreaks, and the locals will have left well sated by the contest.
The Roos threw everything at their more fancied opponents and took a small lead into the first break, but the Cats' experience and harder bodies made the small differences show on the scoreboard.
Geelong went to half-time eight points up and stretched the lead to 11 at the final change before pulling away in the fourth quarter.
Ben McKay again did his brother, Carlton full-forward Harry, a big favour in his quest for a first Coleman Medal, keeping Tom Hawkins to one goal after also holding the Cats spearhead to a single major earlier this year. Unfortunately for Ben, 'Tomahawk's' goal was the one that broke North Melbourne's back late in the final term.
Aaron Hall racked up 35 disposals for North, while Jy Simpkin was terrific once again with 29 and 7 clearances.
Luke Davies-Unaicke had 23 touches and booted a goal, with Jack Ziebell and McKay also among the Roos' best.
Eddie Ford was solid on debut, booting his first career goal in the final term.
A day of firsts for the Kangaroos
It was always going to be a battle to kick goals against Geelong's stingy defence, but two young Roos had moments they will never forget. Both Atu Bosenavulagi and Eddie Ford kicked the first goals of their young careers, much to the delight of their teammates. Bosenavulagi smothered a Sam Menegola handpass midway through the first term, burst into the clear and then drilled his shot on the run from 40m. And after two misses earlier in the match, Ford kept his team in the hunt early in the last quarter when he snapped from close range on the right boot.
The young midfielders that continue to impress
Without contested bull Ben Cunnington to lead its midfield charge, the question was always going to be which North Melbourne players could step up to carry the load. It was little surprise that Luke Davies-Uniacke and Jy Simpkin would be those men, continuing seasons of huge development for both. Davies-Uniacke started his day with a blistering 55m goal and finished with 23 disposals while Simpkin was terrific around the contest with his 29. They had 13 clearances between them to help mitigate the absence of Cunnington.
More to come...
NORTH MELBOURNE 3.2 4.4 5.6 6.6 (42)
GEELONG 2.4 5.6 6.11 8.14 (62)
North Melbourne: Larkey 2, Bosenavulagi, Davies-Uniacke, Ford, Taylor
Geelong: C.Guthrie 2, Rohan 2, Blicavs, Higgins, Narkle
North Melbourne: Davies-Uniacke, Simpkin, McKay, Hall, Ziebell, Goldstein
Geelong: C.Guthrie, Z.Guthrie, Tuohy, Bews, Close, Stewart, Smith
North Melbourne: Nil
Geelong: Tom Atkins (back) replaced in selected side by Zach Guthrie
North Melbourne: Shaun Atley (unused)
Geelong: Jordan Clark (unused)
Crowd: TBC at Blundstone Arena