COACH Chris Scott says his side's biggest issue in the loss to St Kilda on Saturday night was contested footy, but wasn't overplaying the loss.
Geelong appeared in control of the contest leading by 16-points at half time. However a six-goal burst in the third term saw the Saints produce a 32-point turnaround and it proved decisive, with the Saints holding out the Cats in the final term 13.12 (90) to 11.14 (80).
"(The third quarter) was obviously where the game was won by them, they did take it away from us, and we clearly just didn't play well enough in that period. It is a shame, because for the most part, we probably have control of the game if you take out that 20-minute patch," Scott said.
"Even the contested ball numbers, we were down 14 for that quarter and we were down 14 for the game. So that patch is clearly something we'll focus on. There were things that hit us in the face that we're aware of already and the players are aware of, and we just couldn’t get the game played the way we needed to in that patch.
"There were periods as well – we were so dominant in that second quarter and just couldn't get a wider buffer. And we certainly had our chances – even four posters – we just aren't good enough right at the moment that when we take control of games, that we can take it completely away from the opposition. I think we'd be entitled to think we had an opportunity to do that."
Scott heaped praise on young defender Sam De Koning, who was locked in an enthralling battle with fellow rising star Max King.
"He's been a real positive for us. St Kilda play this venue well, and they certainly saw the opportunity to stretch us a little bit, in the conditions," Scott said.
"So Sam became even more important then, because we only really had the one tall defender.
"He's probably the best young key forward in the comp, Max King. Hopefully, what you're seeing a little bit is Wayne Carey-Glen Jakovich type stuff. That would be nice, wouldn't it?"
Scott said Rhys Stanley spent some time off the field getting his ankle strapped, and there were some "awkward" minor injury moments in the first and third terms, but Jed Bews (concussion) should return next week.