A career-best performance from Gryan Miers has helped a wasteful Geelong cruise to a 33-point AFL win over North Melbourne at the Gabba.
The Cats’ first-half yips, coming a day after Brisbane’s sloppy goal-kicking ruined any hope they had of defeating Richmond, could have proven costly.
But Miers’ composure allowed Geelong to ease to a 37-point lead in the third quarter and they never looked back, eventually triumphing 13.12 (90) to 9.3 (57).
Miers excelled in slippery conditions, booting a career-best four goals in his 35th AFL game.
Geelong registered six behinds between Miers’ third and fourth goals, during which Tom Hawkins, Mitch Duncan and Zach Tuohy uncharacteristically missed opportunities to bust the game open.
Jack Steven, whose recall was one of four changes made by Geelong coach Chris Scott in an effort to keep his side fresh after Saturday night’s loss in Perth, finished with 21 disposals and four tackles.
North’s loss was further soured by recalled forward Ben Brown’s knee injury.
Brown limped off in the first quarter and played no further part in the contest while Majak Daw returned to the field after hurting his ankle in the third term.
Returning captain Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield, who spent limited time on the ball, had quiet nights but Lachie Fogarty and some of the Cats’ lesser lights stood up.
The Kangaroos trimmed Geelong’s buffer to 15 points when Jared Polec slotted his set shot with a tick under six minutes remaining in the match.
That was as close as they came to causing an upset; Dangerfield won the resultant centre-bounce clearance and set up a goal for Duncan.
The result extended Geelong’s remarkable recent dominance over North, who have not beaten the Cats since round 15 of the 2015 season.
Debutant Lachie Hosie kicked two goals for the Kangaroos while Jy Simpkin and Trent Dumont worked hard in the middle for North.