Sloppy Geelong charge home to survive Richmond scare

Geelong have snapped their worst losing streak in 18 years with an unconvincing 30-point win over Richmond, charging home after facing a monumental upset at GMHBA Stadium.

After starting the match as $1.05 favourites with bookmakers, the Cats trailed by 29 points late in the second quarter, but finally started to lift with two goals just before halftime to trail by 16 points at the main break.

Geelong slammed through six goals in the third quarter to lead by three points at the final change, finally steamrolling the plucky Tigers in the final term to win 15.9 (99) to 10.9 (69).

After taking the lead for the first time 20 minutes into the third quarter, the Cats dominated the second half, scoring 14.6 to Richmond's 3.2.

The result broke a four-game losing run - their worst in Chris Scott's 14 seasons as Geelong coach - after starting the season 7-0.

It also allowed the Cats to avoid losing three straight at their Kardinia Park fortress for the first time since 2006.

Although Scott was not happy with the Cats' first half, he was pleased with how Geelong turned the game around.

"I feel a little bit better about the outcome of the game because it was really fierce early and we had to we had to fight our way through it," Scott said.

"Just another reminder that if you go into a game - I don't think we did this - but I think the fans have been sort of thinking well the ladder is going to dictate how this game will be played.

"They're going to be continually surprised because the competition is pretty even."

It was not the Cats' stars such as Tom Stewart, Jeremy Cameron and Mitch Duncan who got them back in the contest.

Athletic forward Ollie Dempsey dominated with three goals and 27 possessions, while Tom Atkins got busy in the midfield.

Former Gold Coast midfielder Jack Bowes surged out of the centre with 10 clearances and was regularly dangerous in his best game for the Cats.

Geelong forward Ollie Henry is facing a stint on the sidelines after being subbed out in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

Two weeks after being pummelled by 119 points by the Brisbane Lions in what coach Adem Yze hoped was rock bottom, Richmond were brave at a venue they had not ventured to since 2017.

But they were made to pay for some sloppy errors that let Geelong back in the game late in the second quarter.

"We are proud of our effort," Yze said.

"It's hard to come down here and and beat them down here, but I thought we put up a really solid performance for two-and-a-half quarters."

Richmond's Marlion Pickett (left) and Geelong's Zach Tuohy.
Richmond's Marlion Pickett (left) and Geelong's Zach Tuohy put their bodies on the line.

Dual Richmond premiership utility Marlion Pickett had a dirty night, giving the middle finger to Cats supporters after being subbed out with a calf injury in the last quarter.

Already injury-hit, Richmond will be sweating on scans to Mykelti Lefau after the forward landed awkwardly and was taken off in the final term clutching his knee.

Yze said the Tigers were fearing the worst for Lefau, who has already suffered an ACL injury back in 2022.

The Tigers slumped to 1-11 with an eighth consecutive defeat - their worst losing streak since 2010, triple premiership coach Damien Hardwick's first season in charge.