AFL

Cats third on ladder after pouncing on Tigers

Geelong swingman Harry Taylor has spearheaded an upset 14-point win over Richmond that puts the Cats into third on the AFL ladder with two games left.

Taylor fittingly kicked the last goal of the game, his fourth, as Geelong won 11.14 (80) to 9.12 (66) on Saturday at Simonds Stadium.

With full-forward Tom Hawkins suspended, Taylor played a great game on Alex Rance - surely this season's All-Australian full-back.

Taylor made sure Rance stayed accountable and the Cats were able to unsettle the Richmond defence, until Saturday the best-performed in the league this season.

Cats star Patrick Dangerfield returned from suspension to rack up a game-high 30 possessions and was prominent in the frantic last quarter, when Geelong kicked three goals to two.

Steven Motlop made a strong return to form after returning from a fortnight out and also kicked a last-quarter goal for the Cats.

Apart from Hawkins, the Cats also had lost captain Joel Selwood to an ankle injury and Mitch Duncan was suspended.

It meant Richmond started favourite, but instead they lost their 13th-straight game against the Cats.

Richmond and Geelong swapped spots on the ladder, with the Tigers dropping to fourth.

The Tigers drew first blood, kicking the opening two goals inside five minutes with the aid of a stiff breeze.

But the Cats settled quickly and only trailled by two points at quarter time.

Former Cat Josh Caddy was forced out of the game late in the first quarter with a hamstring injury after kicking the opening goal.

With Taylor having the better of Rance and Motlop showing a much-needed return to form, Geelong took control in the second term.

They kicked five goals to one and led by a game-high 28 points early in the third.

But four-straight behinds kept the door open for Richmond and the Tigers showed why they are in the top four with a big rally.

Richmond kicked the only four goals of the third quarter to trail by just six points at the last break.

Midfielder Dion Prestia had 29 disposals for the Tigers and fellow midfielders Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin also were prominent.

AAP