Geelong coach Chris Scott said the Cats' plan broke down against the Tigers and that there needed to be tweaks if they met again in the finals. 

"Early on they were really sharp and they looked better than us. The question is 'Are they better than us in different circumstances?' Based on that performance you'd say 'Yeah, they'd be raging favourites'," he said.

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"So the challenge for us is to adjust a few things, learn what we can out of the game, still be clear on what's made us a pretty good team over this period of time, but clearly we need to get better." 

06:46 Mins
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Match Highlights (R17)

The Cats and Tigers clash in round 17

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That boost could come soon, with Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett expected to return for the Cats' final game of the home and away season next Sunday against Sydney. 

"As of today I would expect them both to play but there's nine days until our next game," he said.