MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It was never in doubt for the Geelong Cats on the way to their first Australian Football League championship since 2011. The Cats won their 16th consecutive match and were never threatened in a 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) Aussie rules win over the Sydney Swans. The Cats finished in first place in the regular-season standings with 18 wins in 22 matches. They led the grand final by 26 points at halftime and 74 in the third quarter before a sellout crowd of 100,024 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was the largest crowd at the MCG since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic had placed crowd restrictions since but were lifted this year.
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