Geelong key forward Jeremy Cameron has booted six goals, including three of his side’s seven during the final term, in a stunning 13-point come-from-behind AFL win over Collingwood.
The Cats’ 16.8 (104) to 13.13 (91) victory at the MCG on Saturday night looked unlikely when they conceded nine goals during the third quarter and trailed by 30 points at the last change of ends.
But they responded with 7.2 to 0.1 in the fourth quarter in a salute to captain Joel Selwood, who overtook Carlton legend Stephen Kernahan as the longest-serving captain in league history.
In doing so, the Cats improved their season record to 2-1 and handed first-year Collingwood coach Craig McRae his first taste of defeat.
Former GWS forward Cameron bagged half-a-dozen goals for the second time in Geelong colours and attacking partner Tom Hawkins finished with three.
Both kicked crucial majors in the final two minutes of the match to seal the win.
Patrick Dangerfield (25 disposals), Tom Stewart (29), Cam Guthrie (22), Brandan Parfitt (21) and Selwood (22) were prolific ball-winners for the Cats.
Their victory came despite Collingwood dominating contested possession (159-136) and inside-50s (59-47).
“The overwhelming sense that I have, and what I’m proud of our players for, is that they believe,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said.
“It’s been a constant trait of our playing group for a long period of time.
“At three-quarter time they didn’t have many reasons to believe that we could turn it around the way we did.
“I suspect in part that it was about Joel (Selwood) but it was also about our young guys who haven’t been a part of games like that before.”
Tempers flared during the third quarter as Collingwood dialled up the intensity, with Oliver Henry’s chase-down tackle on Selwood lighting the fuse.
Henry converted his free kick and confident youngster Jack Ginnivan shoved Cats skipper Selwood, to the annoyance of Tom Atkins, who dragged Ginnivan to ground.
A melee ensued and Ginnivan was awarded a free kick before the ball had returned to the centre, adding another major to continue the Pies’ onslaught.
Taylor Adams (30 disposals), Jamie Elliott (26), Jordan De Goey (20), Nick Daicos (26) and Steele Sidebottom (19) were everywhere in the third term as Collingwood seized momentum.
Adams had 11 disposals and six clearances in the third quarter alone but Dangerfield, Selwood and Cameron helped turn the match on its head as the Cats surged home.
“We knew they would get more aggressive, play through the corridor and get a more attacking style,” McRae said.
“It’s one thing to know it’s coming but the other thing is to try to stop it.
“We’re playing a really high-energy, ferocious attack on the game and the ball, and we’re just finding out whether we can do that for four quarters at the moment.”
Elliott, Brody Mihocek and Darcy Cameron kicked two goals each for Collingwood and De Goey finished with 1.4 after booting four behinds in the first quarter.
There was a sour note for Geelong when ruck-forward Esava Ratugolea was substituted out of the match after three quarters because of an ankle injury.