GEELONG has booted the second-highest AFLW score in a thumping 75-point thumping of an inexperienced Sydney, becoming the second team to break the ton in the 15.12 (102) to 4.3 (27) result that keeps alive their hopes of a top-four finish.
But the Cats will be sweating on a right ankle injury to Georgie Prespakis ahead of finals next week after the star young midfielder landed awkwardly in a tackle early in the fourth quarter and did not return.
CATS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats
In her absence, Darcy Moloney spent more time on the ball alongside stalwarts Amy McDonald and Becky Webster.
Coach Dan Lowther said more will be known in the coming days.
"Georgie's a bit sore, she rolled her ankle, clearly, everyone saw it. She had some ice on it after the game," Lowther said.
"We'll know more on Monday when she gets scanned, but she seems in good spirits. The medical team have said things are really positive, so I like to hear that with that kind of injury, so fingers crossed she's OK."
The victory margin has lifted Geelong's percentage to 173 and moved it into fourth spot, at least for now.
The Cats' hopes of a double chance in finals will be determined on Sunday, with them needing North Melbourne to narrowly beat Richmond to stay in fourth. A Richmond win or a thumping victory to the Kangaroos would see the Cats slip to fifth.
Geelong slammed through four straight goals to open the game, and it looked as if the result was fast barrelling towards a rout within just 10 minutes, but to Sydney's credit, it didn't go into its shell, responding with two of its own through neat, short passing.
Ally Morphett was a strong presence in attack for the Swans, but the ball just didn't get down there nearly enough, although there were some nice passages of play along the way.
Geelong barely put a foot wrong, having ticked off its third-highest score halfway through the second term, and recording the highest ever AFLW half-time score of 60.
It was driven from the midfield, with dangerous duo Prespakis and McDonald recording 21 and 19 disposals respectively to the main break.
Unfortunately for the Swans after their bright start, they rarely looked like scoring in the second half, struggling to control play past the halfway point on the field.
The ever-persistent rain of the past three weeks finally arrived in the last quarter, making conditions uncomfortably slippery, and it did even up the general play somewhat.
Swans tall Bella Smith was composed under enormous pressure at full-back, while Cynthia Hamilton played a near-lone hand in the midfield (19 and five clearances).
Chloe Scheer booted a career-high four goals, talls Jackie Parry and Kate Darby created plenty of pressure overhead and Rachel Kearns provided plenty of bounce across half-forward.
The race for fourth
Geelong will now be barracking hard for fellow 2019 entrant North Melbourne over Richmond on Sunday. A Roos win will ensure fourth spot – and that crucial double chance – will come down to percentage. The Cats entered the game having to close the significant gap the Roos had of 31.1, and are currently 2.7 per cent shy. If Richmond triumphs, Geelong will finish fifth.
A lesson inside 50
The Cats really flexed their power when inside 50, producing a dangerous mix of overlap run or pin-point kicks, depending on which the situation called. A far cry from the stingy, dour Cats which took to the field just two months ago, this sleek, powerful Geelong side made nearly every inside 50 a winner, running at 73 per cent efficiency in attack.
"Really happy with the way they played, we've been trying to get to that level all season, really, but we knew it was going to take time with the new list and the change in the way we want to play. To see it all come to fruition today was really positive. I think you could see in the first few minutes of the game we were switched on with our contested ball method and the way we drove out of contest a bit more freely." – Geelong coach Dan Lowther
"One of our themes from today was we wanted to take the game on. I think in a normal way, we probably would have tried to stem the flow a little bit more, but we were determined to stick to the philosophy we're trying to follow. I will admit, at times during the game, we did talk about some defensive stuff we would have done normally." – Sydney coach Scott Gowans
Geelong will be waiting on the result of the North Melbourne-Richmond clash on Sunday to find out if it will be playing a qualifying or elimination final next week. Sydney's season is done, finishing last on the ladder.
GEELONG 5.0 9.6 13.9 15.12 (102)
SYDNEY 2.2 2.2 2.3 4.3 (27)
Geelong: Scheer 4, Parry 2, Darby 2, Scott 2, Kearns, Webster, Morrison, Gardiner, A. McDonald
Sydney: Privitelli, Morphett, Dargan, Lochland
Geelong: A. McDonald, Prespakis, Scheer, Bowen, Moloney
Sydney: C. Hamilton, Smith, Morphett, Heads
Geelong: Prespakis (ankle)