GEELONG 16.15 (111)
NORTH MELBOURNE 13.13 (91)
Geelong has fought hard for its seventh win of the season with a gritty 20-point win in the first Friday night game at Simonds Stadium.
The Cats led at every change and looked set for a comfortable win but the Roos came at them hard in the last term and appeared to have a sniff.
But a Mark Blicavs goal against the flow cemented the 16.15 (111) to 13.13 (91) win, Geelong's seventh for the season.
The win continues the Cats' phenomenal record in Geelong where they have won 46 of the last 48 matches.
The 27,402 strong crowd witnessed Tom Hawkins in outstanding form early with four goals.
James Kelly (33 disposals), Jimmy Bartel (32 and two goals) and Joel Selwood (26 and a goal) did the midfield damage in Steve Johnson's absence.
North lost Joel Tippett in the second term to a pectoral injury; he was subbed off for Ryan Bastinac who came on and snagged two goals.
Tom Lonergan came off with concussion in the second quarter after a head clash and did not return to the field.
The Cats meet Sydney at the SCG in Round 11, while the Roos travel to Perth to play West Coast.
Lindsay Thomas has a chance to kick a goal but he sprays it and it's a behind.
Swallow marks 45m out. Dishes to Dal Santo who HITS THE POST. 21 points the margin with 3 mins 20 secs to play.
Mark Blicavs bobs up with a steadying goal from the pocket. The sealer? Majak Daw, his opponent, nowhere to be seen.
Ziebell gets it at 50 and hits up Nahas, who marks it 20m out. He has kicked the goal. His second. Cats by 16. North's kicked four in a row. Five minutes to go.
Six minutes to play. North has kicked the last three goals to get within 22 points.
Ball comes back in and he's done it again. This time under pressure though... behind to Nahas.
Nahas has missed a really costly goal. Margin is 23 points but it should be 18. He ran to 40m, no pressure and missed.
Bartel to Varcoe who runs to 50 and hits the post. Cats by 24 points with 9:30 to play.
Bastinac late goal, his second. Margin is 23 points with 10.20 to play.
Petrie is the beneficiary of a Roos attack and he kicks it off the ground through for his third. Roos within 29 points.
I know Andrew Swallow has had a long term injury but he has looked second rate tonight. Harsh?
Majak Daw kicks a last-quarter goal. Roos took a risk through the guts and it paid off.
Bartel gets another goal... he's flying. Cats open up a 41-point lead. This could get ugly.
Murdoch easily outruns Swallow on the wing and hits up the goal square. Bartel, who bumps Firrito off it to mark. Kicks the goal. He's had 28 disposals.
Umps let the play go a long time. Ball finally spill free and the Roos push it forward and find Bastinac, who kicks the goal. Roos have kicked four goals to three this term.
Guthrie does some heavy lifting through the midfield, gets it to Motlop in space. He lines up the sticks from 50m and splits the middle. Bartel back on.
Roos work it from back to front and Petrie outmarks two Cats. Petrie dobs it. Roos within 30. Meanwhile, Bartel off after a head clash with McDonald.
Cats get two behinds in quick succession to take the margin to 36 points.
Duncan runs with the flight of the ball and takes a contested mark. Kicks the goal, his second. Margin back out to 34 points. Duncan has two goals.
North work it from defence to attack through the corridor... Swallow scrubs a behind.
Bartel has marked 45m out on the angle. He's played really well tonight, one of the Cats' best. He also kicks a behind. Cats by 29.
Cats win the clearance. They say enough of that rot... ends up with Sheringham from 45m. He kicks a behind to extend the lead to 28 with 11 mins to play in the third.
Mackie's kick from defence is picked off by Ziebell. He should convert the goal. He does. Margin 27. First time the Roos have strung two in a row together.
Lindsay Thomas snap is a miracle goal. His third. Gets the margin back to 33 points.
Bastinac gets another opportunity, this time from a set shot. Misses to the right. Cats by 39.
Bastinac's bouncing shot at goal bounces right at the last moment. Cats by 40.
Guthrie misses an easy one. That could have been the nail in the coffin. Cats lead by 41 again.
Hawkins gets the first goal of third term, his fourth goal, to open up a 41-point lead, the highest of the game.
Second term is underway. Tippett has been subbed off and Bastinac is on.
GEELONG 10.9 (69)
NORTH MELBOURNE 5.4 (34)
* 23 disposals to James Kelly, 17 to Bartel and 13 to Guthrie.
* Hawkins on fire up forward with five marks. He's got 3.3 (including a poster).
* 13 Cats into double figure disposals compared to three for the Roos.
* Total disposals: Cats lead 217-148
* Contested possessions: Cats lead 81-61
* Roos have led just once in the game: after Thomas kicked the first goal of the match.
* Lonergan subbed off with concussion; Blicavs subbed on.
* Roos lose key defender Joel Tippett to suspected pectoral injury.
North gets the clearance and Nahas marks around the back. Just the Roos' third mark inside 50. Bad miss. Just a behind. 69-34.
Hawkins on the lead marks it on his chest. Has kicked 2.3. Make that 3.3. Lead back to 36 points with 1.19 to play in the half.
Joel Tippett has hurt himself. Looks like a shoulder. He will be coming off when he can.
Nahas has kicked a brilliant opportunistic goal... dribbled it through from the boundary. Roos just hanging on? Cats lead 62-33 with four mins to play.
Varcoe stole it brilliantly from Dal Santo on the wing... ends up with Selwood who misses a running shot at goal from 40m. Cats lead 62-27 with five to play.
Comes back into Catland and Hawkins marks on his chest. Tight angle, he slams it into the post. He has 2.3 but looks very dangerous.
Rushed behind to the Cats after Bartel elected to play on when he probably should have had a shot. Cats lead 60-27 with seven mins to play in the half.
Aaron Black kicks a much-needed goal from outside 50, set shot. Good kick. Cats lead 59-27.
Scott Thompson is pinged by holding the ball. Another puzzling decision. Hawkins the beneficiary. He kicks his second. Cats open up a 38-point lead, the biggest of the game.
Brent Harvey snap out of the boundary throw-in is a behind. Cats lead 53-21 with 13 mins left in the half.
Hawkins paves a way for Horlin-Smith who dribbles through Geelong's eighth goal.
Roos get the clearance and Thomas soccers an opportunist goal. A little lucky but you make your own luck sometimes.
Geelong goes forward via Bartel, who got a free after a reckless Goldstein tackle. Kicks it to the hotspot where Enright is waiting. Banana kick sails through for a goal. Cats lead 47-14. All Geelong so far.
Second term underway and the Cats already have a goal through Murdoch, his second. Guthrie with another score assist. Cats lead by 27 again, cancelling out the Petrie goal.
GEELONG 5.5 (35)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 (14)
Drew Petrie held five secs before the siren and kicks the goal after the siren. Roos needed that!!!
Cats smashing the Roos in most departments. They lead the disposal count 113-60, inside 50s 13-8 and contested ball 41-33. Roos aren't applying nearly enough pressure and Geelong has been allowed to take ball from defence to attack with ease.
So with 40 secs to play in the term the siren couldn't come soon enough for the Roos.
Cats win the clearance and find Hawkins. Lining up for his second but misses. Cats lead 35-8 with two minutes to play.
Cats capitalise on a North Melbourne error and go forward again through Rivers who finds Hawkins. He kicks to the goal square... Duncan gets the goal after Selwood lets it go through to him.
Cats go down their end and get a goal through Stringer. They look like they're doing it really easily.
Black's kick is a behind. Cats lead 22-8. Mackie's kick out from goal is only marginally better this time, finding the boundary line after touch.
Free to Adams who kicks it to full forward. Lindsay Thomas has been pushed in the back. Seen by the ump. His kick is poor. Cats lead 22-7. But the Cats kick in has been chopped off by Black. Mackie was the kicker.
Cats moving the pill lightnight fast. Off the rebound, they find Hawkins with ease. Hawkins kicks the goal. Cats lead 22-6. Roos need next goal or they could be out of the game in the first term.
Cats go forward again. Motlop dribbles one ... into the post. Cats by 10 points.
Joel Tippett tries to clear from defence but it's out on the full. Comes back in and Murdoch, who got it from Guthrie, kicks the goal. Cats by nine.
Mitch Duncan tackled without the footy at half forward. He sits it to a dangerous spot but Hawkins can't mark. A free is paid to Joel Selwood for: "sitting on his head". Selwood can only manage a behind. Cats by three points.
Comes back into Cat territory... Hawkins snaps from the boundary. One behind. Cats looking dangerous... they lead by two points.
Ball comes back into Geelong's forward line... Dawson Simpson does the roving, has plenty of time but misses. One behind. Cats lead by a point.
Cats win the clearance. Mackie's short pass finds Murdoch. His kick doesn't make the distance and Hawkins has a 'hands in the back' free paid against him... Thompson the beneficiary.
Joel Selwood takes a contested mark eight metres out. Kicks the goal and levels the score. Six points apiece.
Play underway at Simonds. Free to Ziebell inside 50 (just). High contact. Ziebell has blood so is sent from the ground and Thomas gets the kick instead. Lindsay Thomas kicks a long ... GOAL. North gets the first goal and leads by six points.
One minute from the bounce. Bartel in the longies. North going with three talls.
Joel Selwood has won the toss and the Cats will kick first to the Melbourne end.
If the Roos are to win tonight (and I think they will) they will need to overcome the team with the best recent record at home. The Cats have won 45 of their last 47 games in Geelong. One of those, they lost to North.
The view for the night! Cheering on geelongcats while the boy supports the opposition #AFLCatsRoos @… http://t.co/3EXbcjAe2K — Nicholas Brady (@nickobrady26) May 23, 2014
The Cats welcome back Stokes and Stringer for Stevie J and Hunt. Stokes has been in red-hot form this year, averaging 29 touches. He missed the Freo match due to a one-match ban for striking Steven Morris in Round 7. So, given Geelong had the bye after the Tigers' game, he's fresh. He's had three weeks off and will be raring to go.
Spud Firrito comes in for the Roos for Scott McMahon, who's been omitted. Firrito has played just four games this year but averages 18 touches. More importantly, he's played 214 games. Will his experience be a factor tonight?
Subs: Cats: Blicavs. Roos: Bastinac.
I/C: Cats: Stringer, Horlin-Smith, Sheringham. Roos: Adams, Wright, Greenwood.
Welcome to our live coverage of what looms as a cracking match of AFL football. It's seventh-placed North Melbourne against fourth-placed Geelong at Simonds Stadium. The bounce is still 40 minutes away so, as always, your comments are welcome. Who will win? Anyone give the Roos a chance? I give them a big chance. Cats are in poor form and coming off a Perth game without Stevie J. Roos are coming off an 87-point win and have travelled well this year (remember the win over Freo in Perth in Round 6?). I think the Roos will win by 10 points. Enjoy the coverage and have your say in the comments section.