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Selwood injured but Cats beat Demons

By AAP .
28 February 2014 11:09PM EST

GEELONG captain Joel Selwood has a hamstring injury following their 13-point AFL pre-season win over Melbourne in Alice Springs.

Cats utility Billie Smedts is also certain to be on report following a crude spoil that collected Jimmy Toumpas across the head in Friday night's match.

Melbourne hit the front late in the second term, but the Cats took control in the third quarter and won 0.14.13 (97) to 3.9.3 (84).

Selwood grabbed his upper right hamstring in the first term and was immediately benched for the rest of the game.

The Cats are hopeful it is not serious, telling media at halftime that he could have returned to the game.

Selwood did not spend too much time icing his hamstring and was walking freely post-match.

He missed their first pre-season game while completing his recovery from foot surgery.

The Cats can ill-afford to be without their skipper and star midfielder, having suffered a series of injuries over the summer.

Most recently, ruckman Nathan Vardy was ruled out for the season earlier this week with a knee reconstruction.

Smedts is in trouble for a third-term incident where he collected Toumpas high on the wing.

While his eyes were on the ball, his roundhouse swing at the ball made solid contact and Demons players angrily remonstrated with him.

Apart from a second pre-season win, another positive out of the game for the Cats was the successful return of injury-plagued ruckman Hamish McIntosh.

It was his first AFL match since round seven 2012, when he was still playing for North Melbourne.

Coach Chris Scott said pre-match that McIntosh would play 30 minutes, but McIntosh was on the ground for 46.

While the game was played in hot, blustery conditions, the wind was no excuse for Melbourne's succession of turnovers in the third term that gifted Geelong easy goals.

But there were ongoing signs of improvement for Melbourne under new coach Paul Roos, following their upset pre-season win over Richmond.

Highly-rated key forward Jesse Hogan showed the hype surrounding him is justified.

In his first game for the Demons, the strongly-built teenager handled the ball cleanly, kicked a goal and took several strong marks.

The glaring statistics for Melbourne are that they easily won the possession count 444 to 350, but lost the inside 50 count by a whopping 62-31.

Mitch Duncan impressed for Geelong and Mitch Brown kicked three goals.

Recruits Viv Michie (Fremantle) and Bernie Vince (Adelaide) kicked super goals in the second term as the Demons rallied from a poor first term and they were high among Melbourne's best.

Co-captain Nathan Jones kicked the other super goal in the final term and then put through a six-pointer late in the game to keep the margin close.

Cats coach Chris Scott is hopeful Selwood will be ready for their round-one game on March 20 in Geelong against Adelaide.

"They (medical team) are really confident that it's not much at all, but we won't really know," Scott said.

"Really, the short-term prognosis is he will be fine."

Scott was also rapt with how McIntosh performed and said he is in contention for round-one selection.

"How good was that? It was really good to see him out there," Scott said.

"We didn't really care how he played to be honest, if he can only get out there for 10 minutes we would have almost been happy. So it's a start."

After Geelong raced to a 29-point lead late in the first term, Roos was pleased that the Demons fought back.

"Our resilience was tested early in the season and at least we responded quite positively," he said.

"We know we have got a long way to go but tonight certainly was a step forward for us again."

GEELONG 0.6.5 0.8.6 0.14.9 0.14.13 (97)
MELBOURNE 0.3.0 2.5.0 2.7.1 3.9.3 (84)

Nine pointers: Geelong - Nil. Melbourne - Vince, Jones, Michie.
Goals: Geelong - Brown 3; Taylor, Bartel, Duncan 2; Horlin-Smith, Caddy, Walker, Hawkins, Varcoe. Melbourne - Howe 2; Cross, Hogan, Toumpas, Trengove, Jones, Bail, Michie.
Best: Geelong - Duncan, Caddy, Johnson, Bartel, Horlin-Smith. Melbourne - Vince, Jones, Cross, Michie, Tyson.

Umpires: Stuart Wenn, Craig Fleer, Curtis Deboy.
Venue: Traeger Park, Alice Springs

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