Dangerfield hamstrung as Cats fight off Carlton charge

Shayne Hope |

Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron celebrates one of his five goals in the MCG victory over Carlton.
Geelong’s Jeremy Cameron celebrates one of his five goals in the MCG victory over Carlton.

Geelong are sweating on further assessment of Patrick Dangerfield’s latest hamstring injury after the star veteran went down during a pulsating 13-point win over fellow AFL heavyweights Carlton.

Jeremy Cameron kicked five goals for the Cats, including the sealer, as they held off the fast-finishing Blues for an 18.10 (118) to 15.15 (105) victory at the MCG on Saturday night.

It sent Geelong (7-0) a game clear on top of the ladder but came at a cost when captain Dangerfield (16 disposals, one goal) had to be substituted out of the game early in the third quarter.

The 34-year-old was explosive out of the middle and one of the most influential players on the ground before he was hurt in his second game back from a separate hamstring injury sustained in round two.

“I just know it’s a hamstring,” Cats coach Chris Scott said when quizzed on Dangerfield’s latest setback.

“I could speculate but I don’t think that helps.

“He was subbed off with a hamstring and the club will give a little bit more detail as the week goes on, but I’m not sure at the moment.”

Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield
Geelong captain Patrick Dangerfield breaks away during the Cats’ win over Carlton at the MCG.

Geelong led for most of the night and the game appeared over when four consecutive goals at the start of the final quarter gave them a 33-point buffer.

Carlton rallied with four straight goals of their own in time-on, trimming the margin to eight with enough time left to win, before Cameron shut the gate with a calm set shot in front of a heaving crowd of 87,775 fans.

“(The game) did ebb and flow a little bit and it wasn’t completely unexpected that they would come late,” Scott said.

“I didn’t think we handled it as well as we would’ve liked to, especially when we got out to circa 30 points in front.

“But you just know with their weapons that if you make a few errors they’re capable of capitalising, which they did.

“But then in the last three minutes or so we stiffened up a little bit and played the situation quite smartly.”

Key forward Cameron was well supported in attack by Zach Tuohy and Ollie Henry, who kicked three goals each, while fellow tall Tom Hawkins was well held by Carlton full-back Jacob Weitering.

Max Holmes (26 disposals), Mitch Duncan (24) and Gryan Miers (22) were all busy for Geelong, and Cam Guthrie (27) performed well in his long-awaited return from injury.

The injury-ravaged Blues (5-2) were strong in the contest, but slipped to their second defeat of the season.

Patrick Cripps (29 touches, two goals) and Sam Walsh (31 disposals) fought hard and Charlie Curnow finished with three goals after a quiet start, while ruckman Marc Pittonet continued his impressive form with 19 disposals, 28 hit-outs and a career-high 11 clearances.

But coach Michael Voss wasn’t in the mood to praise individuals after a poor overall defensive display that allowed Geelong too many good looks at goal, despite Carlton winning a lop-sided inside-50 count (66-45).

“We had some critical moments that we didn’t get right and we certainly didn’t defend the way that we’d expect,” Voss said.

“The game was always balanced slightly in their favour.

“As much as we fought back and as much as we kept boxing on, it was just too easy for them to score down the other end.”