Tom Hawkins kicks a goal during Geelong's clash against Port Adelaide in round nine, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

GEELONG star Tom Hawkins will be managed for the Cats' clash against Gold Coast in Darwin next week in what was a pre-planned move.

Hawkins, 35, equalled Joel Selwood's Geelong games record as the Cats suffered a six-point loss to Port Adelaide on Friday night, with a dramatic fightback falling short.

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The forward ended his run of four games without a goal, kicking one major, and coach Chris Scott confirmed Hawkins would miss Geelong's trip up north in round 10.

It means Hawkins is set to play his 356th game and break Selwood's record when the Cats host Greater Western Sydney at GMHBA Stadium on May 25.

"We won't (play Hawkins in Darwin). That's been our plan," Scott said.

"Likely we'll tell you the week we're doing these things, but we'll give you no more notice than that."


Geelong made a slow start and trailed Port by 49 points before a stunning fightback in the second half.

The Cats kicked nine goals to three after the main break, but fell just short of completing a comeback victory.

"There's always two sides to a game like that," Scott said.

"We started poorly and knew that they can get hot, even in games where they don't win they get hot through periods of games so it wasn't unexpected. Our response to it was a bit unexpected, but even then … structurally we didn't think we were too bad.


"It was at a skill level as much as anything early on that gave them the ball back and some chances to put them under pressure in our forward half that we didn't take and they'd bounce back.

"When they're hot like that, they are an emotional team and when that emotion is running for them they're very good. There is that side we're disappointed with and we'll look at it and obviously have a think about how we could adjust the way we play when the game's going like that.

"But then the other side, the positive, is really positive. We've got a very different team now to the one we've had throughout the years, but the thing that I really admire about them that's common amongst all the teams that I've coached is the players always think they can win and that's not easy. I really admire that.

"In the end, it was probably a bit of luck either way that was the difference towards the end of the game. It certainly wasn't the difference early in the game, but to give ourselves a chance to win is something that I'm proud of, but again we're not walking away from the game happy, that's for sure."


Zak Butters (34 disposals, seven clearances and a goal) and Jason Horne-Francis (26, seven and one) starred for Port, which won in Geelong for the first time since 2007.

Power coach Ken Hinkley was proud of his team and praised Butters, standing in as captain in the absence of Connor Rozee (hamstring), and Horne-Francis.

"I thought the stand-in captain was outstanding and I thought Jason was equally as outstanding," Hinkley said.


"Then the collective team, together, and we don't like to individualise a little bit, but certainly some players had big moments out there in the first half to give us a bit of adrenaline I think and a little bit of energy.

"We played down here last year and we played pretty well, we had a lot of people missing and we fell just short, but we thought we played the ground OK."