As is so often the case, the big two of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood were front and centre as Geelong won a tense AFL arm-wrestle against luckless Port Adelaide on Thursday night.
But just as important in ensuring the Cats got up by two points was the performance of fellow midfielder Mitch Duncan, who took another step closer to making it a big three.
The 25-year-old was clearly the best player on the park for the opening three quarters of the clash at Simonds Stadium.
And even though it was another Danger-wood special that conjured up the winning goal in the dying minutes, Duncan also had a big moment late in the final term.
He was the one who reacted quickest when Charlie Dixon was called to play on, just as the big Port forward was about to take a set shot for goal which would have put the Power up by nine points had he have been successful.
“(Duncan) was fantastic – in the first half he really set us up,” said Cats coach Chris Scott.
“His ball use was fantastic, he’s a really hard runner and he was great in and around the congestion as well.
“We’ve got high hopes for him and he’s pushing towards that A-grade midfielder level that we were always confident he’d get to.”
Selwood had 10 of his 33 possessions in the final term, while Dangerfield finished the night with 24 disposals and three goals, including the late match-winner from a Selwood assist.
“It’s such an asset as a coaching group to have players that you can look in the eye at three-quarter time and know what they’re going to deliver,” said Scott.
“They were great.”
The 11.15 (81) to 11.13 (79) victory improved the Cats’ win-loss record to 7-3, while the Power slipped to 5-4, having had the bye last weekend following their long trip to Shanghai, to take on Gold Coast.
Port Adelaide were well served by midfielders Jared Polec, Ollie Wines and Brad Ebert, ruckman Paddy Ryder and three-goal forward Robbie Gray.
Power coach Ken Hinkley acknowledged the umpires had got it right in calling Dixon to play on in the final quarter as soon as the 30-second shot clock had expired.
“I understood it. Time ran out,” Hinkley said.
“Unfortunately they got it 100 per cent correct as far as right on the dot.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before – but that doesn’t matter.”