Tom Hawkins boots five as Cats sink Giants

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tom Hawkins has booted five goals to inspire Geelong to a 35-point AFL win over GWS and set up a blockbuster preliminary final against Melbourne.

The Cats led by 38 points after booting the first goal of the last term of Friday night's semi-final, but a three-goal burst from the Giants in the space of three minutes reduced the margin to 20 points.

With the game suddenly up for grabs again, Hawkins stood tall with three final-quarter goals to kill off the Giants' comeback and secure the 15.13 (103) to 10.8 (68) win in front of 44,091 fans at Optus Stadium.

Hawkins finished with 5.1 and four contested marks from 19 possessions.

He also produced a dominant ruck tap in the third quarter to set up a goal for Isaac Smith.

Hawkins' last-quarter effort was all the more remarkable given he suffered a big cork to the back of his right leg in the third quarter after copping a knee from GWS ruckman Shane Mumford.

"Nigel Lappin told me during the week to watch out for Mummy," Hawkins told the Seven Network after the match.

"(He told me) when he sits off the contest he runs in for that knee and wants blood. He got me right, smack bang in the corky."

Cats forward Jeremy Cameron booted 2.2 against his former side, while Zach Tuohy (31 disposals) was influential in the midfield.

Cats skipper Joel Selwood finished with 14 disposals in his club record 333rd AFL game.

GWS were well served by Lachie Whitfield (34 disposals) and Josh Kelly (25 possessions, one goal), but the late withdrawal of spearhead Jesse Hogan to a calf injury robbed the Giants of a marking target in attack.

Hogan, who was due to play his 100th AFL match, was replaced in the side by former captain Phil Davis.

Geelong suffered an injury setback of their own in the first quarter when midfielder Brandan Parfitt injured his left hamstring while stretching to make a tackle.

"The disappointing thing is that every quarter they just got us by a goal or two," Giants coach Leon Cameron said.

"Trying to make up ground was hard. We hung in there and were really courageous. We didn't roll over. We kept on fighting until the end."

Geelong's 14-point lead at quarter time was built largely on the back of Tuohy's 12-disposal opening term.

Cats big man Esava Ratugolea produced the highlight of the second quarter with an aerial grab while spinning into the pack.

His subsequent goal and a successful snap from Cameron a short time later extended the margin to 22 points, but a late goal to Daniel Lloyd ensured the gap was a manageable 15 points at half time.

The Giants snared just one mark inside 50m in the first half, with the absence of Hogan a telling factor.

The suspension of Toby Greene for bumping an umpire also robbed the Giants of an electric spark at ground level.

Goalsneak Bobby Hill produced a magical moment to start the third term to give the Giants a sniff.

The 21-year-old flew for a mark and then tapped the ball to teammate Matt de Boer once he landed to save it from going out of bounds.

De Boer fumbled the ball forward to the running Hill, who tapped it on two more times to escape the clutches of opponents before collecting the ball and kicking truly from a tough angle.

But the moment proved to be the catalyst for Geelong to kick into top gear, with two goals to Gary Rohan, and singles to Hawkins, Smith, and Sam Menegola breaking the game wide open.

GWS bravely hit back early in the final quarter, but three marks to Hawkins resulted in three goals to ensure the Cats would come away with the spoils.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting