Geelong’s worst round one defeat in two decades won’t see Cats coach Chris Scott make wholesale changes.
Geelong were smashed in almost every department against Hawthorn, who defeated the Cats by 62 points.
Led by Jordan Lewis and Shaun Burgoyne, the Hawks convincingly won the contested possessions, clearances and inside 50s.
But for Geelong, the further away the loss is from the pointy end of the season, the better.
As Scott said to his players, it is only one game, and doesn’t wreck a “really good pre-season”.
“The most important thing is to keep it in perspective,” Scott said.
“We were a bit off but that doesn’t mean we’ll be off next week.
“When things go wrong, especially when you’re playing in a team where not too much has gone wrong over a long period of time it can be really confusing.
“It’s not where anyone wants to be today but it can be turned around pretty quickly.”
Scott pointed to a string of developing players as positives to take away from the loss.
Nakia Cockatoo and Cory Gregson played their first game, with Darcy Lang (two games) and Jed Bews (eight) also gaining experience.
And of course there was the much-vaunted debut of Mitch Clark in Cats colours, who returned three goals.
“Mitch was good … he’s a competitive player which we like most about him,” Scott said.
“There were positives across the ground, obviously a whole lot of negatives as well but none that are going to cause a massive reaction from us after round one.”
Geelong players can certainly console themselves with the fact the loss came to the reigning champions.
Scott said opposing teams can expect to face a Hawthorn side that has improved since their 2014 triumph.
“We played a very, very good team who were hot on the day,” he said.
“They’ve improved no question.”
Geelong haven’t suffered as brutal a defeat in their season-opening match since 1994, when Allen Jakovich’s eight goals helped Melbourne defeat the Cats 26.18 (174) to 16.13 (109).