A daring run and gun game style almost brought Geelong undone for the second successive week, escaping with a five point win over a desperate Richmond.
It was cold, wet and slippery, leading to a scrappy error riddled game with the Cats demonstrating a slight edge in poise and class in key moments.
Geelong opened a 35 point lead by the 20 minute mark of the second quarter with the Tigers failing to get the ball through the big sticks.
Richmond used a short kicking game to open the game, with Geelong taking advantage of every wet weather-induced Tiger mistake.
But coach Damien Hardwick urged his players to throw caution to the blustery wind and it paid dividends as Richmond forced the ball forward.
Geelong focussed on bottling the ball up in its half and did so for large parts of the game, only to be opened to the fast counter attack on numerous occasions.
It was only the cool defensive heads of Harry Taylor, James Kelly and Corey Enright avoiding the Tiger claws sufficiently to reduce Richmond’s scoring efficiency.
Youngster Jordan Murdoch demonstrated he is learning the ropes, putting in a dashing performance and finding reward on the scoreboard.
Jimmy Bartel and Steve Johnson were well supported by fellow midfielders Mitch Duncan and Taylor Hunt who booted two goals each.
Skipper Joel Selwood struggled to break a tight tag for much of the game before finally freeing up to impact the game at its crucial moments.
Geelong coach Chris Scott reiterated what most supporters would have been thinking: the side has the find significant improvement to maintain its ladder place.
“We’re a long way from playing our best footy, but we’re six-and-one,” Scott said. “We’re in a good spot but well aware that we need to improve.
“I think we’ve been outstanding at times in the first seven weeks but at other times we’ve been pretty average,” Scott said.
“So therein lies the challenge: to make sure that we can maintain that outstanding footy for longer periods.”
Scott highlighted the Cats poor goal kicking with a wayward 11.15 against the Tigers that produced a at least four behinds that could easily have been goals.
Geelong has a bye next weekend followed by a tough task against Fremantle at Pattersons Stadium.
GEELONG 3.3 7.8 8.10 11.15 (81)
RICHMOND 0.1 4.3 8.3 12.4 (76)
Geelong: Duncan 2, Murdoch 2, Hunt 2, Bartel, Varcoe, McIntosh, Johnson, Selwood
Richmond: Lloyd 3, Edwards 2, Vickery 2, Riewoldt 2, Deledio, Martin, Cotchin
Geelong: Taylor, Duncan, Enright, Bartel, Guthrie, Selwood, Murdoch
Richmond: Rance, Hampson, Conca, Vlastuin, Astbury, Deledio, Jackson