Joel Selwood's 300th AFL game proved a simple summation of his career to date: dominating contested football, leading from the front - and winning.
The Geelong captain was involved from the outset in a 37-point win over Gold Coast at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
But Selwood and Gary Ablett, in game 350, almost looked set to have their party spoiled when the Suns took the lead in the third term - before class prevailed late.
"I think more than me it was our senior players that reminded the rest of the group that (these are) a couple of guys that deserved more than we were giving them," Cats coach Chris Scott said post-match.
Selwood finished his night with 22 disposals, eight tackles, five clearances and four points.
"It's weird, it's wonderful right now," he admitted.
"It's strange with no-one being here but we understand that there would have been a lot of people, so we're sad for them."
For Ablett, the contest was a quieter affair at half-forward, with just 14 touches during the contest.
But the Little Master stole the show late, capping the victory with a tremendous long bomb.
"It was very nice," Ablett told reporters after the siren.
"I hadn't touched the ball much and 'Hawk' had been saying to me for about 10 minutes, 'Mate, if I mark the ball outside 50, just lead back up at me and I'll get you one.'
"When I marked it I wasn't sure if it was going to make the distance but I was not passing it and I was just glad it went through."
In his final year, Ablett said there was one more milestone game he hoped to share with fellow premiership winner Selwood.
"I really want to hold that premiership cup up for this man as well," he said.
Australian Associated Press