St Kilda has been forced to accept a difficult lesson after a well-oiled Geelong outfit flexed their muscle to put the to the young side to the sword by 59 points at the Gabba.
The Cats kicked nine unanswered goals after 17 points separated the two sides at half-time, holding the Saints goalless in the second half to waltz away with the four points in the 4.10 (34) to 14.9 (93) result.
The visitors dictated proceedings through their measured use, dominance in the clearances and ascendancy in the uncontested ball (+52) and uncontested marks (+41) to little resistance.
Sam Menegola (26 disposals, two goals) and Mitch Duncan (22 disposals, one goal) directed the one-way traffic through the midfield, while Tom Hawkins (five goals) leapt to the top of the Coleman leaderboard as Gary Rohan ripped through the defence with three second-quarter majors to end his night with four.
Ed Phillips – a late replacement for Paddy Ryder – provided spark in the opening quarter with two goals in under a minute, but had few teammates join him on the scoreboard after the Saints registered just four goals for the match.
SAINTS MATCH CENTRE: Full match stats and post-match coverage
Rowan Marshall (24 hit-outs, seven clearances), Jack Steele (25 disposals, five clearances) and debutant Jack Bytel (18 disposals, five clearances) battled hard to try and ignite their side in the guts, but were met by an immaculately well-set Geelong when moving forward.
Geelong’s combined defensive efforts of Harry Taylor, Mark Blicavs, Mark O'Connor and Tom Stewart stifled the potent forward fleet to superb effect, with regular scoreboard contributors Tim Membrey, Dan Butler and Max King held goalless.
The impact was far-reaching as the Saints struggled to generate their customary fast ball movement off the back of Thursday's win against Gold Coast.
The Cats pounced on any errors or opportunities without mercy; a Patrick Dangerfield roost from outside 50 bouncing just over the defence for a goal strengthening their stranglehold on the game.
Dougal Howard and Ben Long were swung up forward in the second half to give the Saints a different look, but the men in hoops refused to give an inch.
Geelong gained eight percentage points – and well-validated Premiership credentials – after ousting the red, white and black from third position, inflicting the Saints with a move down to fifth with a loss of 11 percentage points.
St Kilda will look to get back on the winners list next Sunday against Essendon at the Gabba, while Geelong will have just four days to prepare for its top-four clash with Port Adelaide at Metricon Stadium.
ST KILDA 2.1 4.6 4.8 4.10 (34)
GEELONG 2.4 7.5 11.7 14.9 (93)
St Kilda: Phillips 2, Billings, Battle
Geelong: Hawkins 5, Rohan 4, Menegola 2, Tuohy, Dangerfield, Duncan
St Kilda: Steele, Marshall, Phillips, Sinclair, Bytel, Long, Paton
Geelong: Menegola, Hawkins, Duncan, Rohan, Dangerfield, Blicavs, O'Connor, Taylor
St Kilda: Ryder; replaced in the selected side by Phillips