GEELONG coach Chris Scott has slammed his side's "horrible" performance around the stoppages during its shock loss to Port Adelaide, admitting the Cats were slaughtered in the contested ball.
The Cats' high-profile midfield brigade was dominated in every facet by a lively Power outfit at Adelaide Oval, comfortably losing the clearances (52-36), stoppage clearances (41-28) and contested possessions (167-131).
Scott said while his team had been very good this season at scoring from stoppages, too many players were down in this area against the Power.
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"The clearance work in particular was, from our perspective, horrible to start with, and it didn't get much better as the game went on," Scott said.
"It's hard to build momentum from (defensive) 50 because you're getting slaughtered around the ball."
"It's not really complicated."
The Cats were able to hold on for most of the game and were only down by nine points at three-quarter time.
But Scott said his side was never really in the contest and was helped by an inaccurate opposition that failed to put the Cats away.
"It's hard to win stoppages and lose contested ball … If you want a summary of the game, a 12-point margin flattered us in the extreme," Scott said.
"We were beaten by a better team tonight … we didn't play well and they completely outplayed us for the majority of the game.
"They were fundamental errors but the biggest problem was that margin around the stoppages."
The Cats have now lost their past eight games after the bye, and Scott admitted it was an issue the coaching staff had to look at going forward.
"We have to keep looking at it … it's not as if we're ignoring it, it's a fact," Scott said.
"I don't think you should read my comments as being defensive about it … how relevant it is to the rest of our season is a question, but it won't stop us being forensic in our analysis of it."
The Cats had a dirty night on the injury front, with forward Gary Rohan failing to play out the game after being concussed in the third quarter.
Luke Dahlhaus was also suffered a shin injury, but returned to the field, while Tim Kelly copped a knock late in the final term.
Despite this, Scott said he believed all three would be fine to play next Friday night against the Crows.
"Rohan couldn't come back on with a bit of a head knock … Tim Kelly looked like he was really sore, but it turns out he's just winded I think, so not great in the moment but OK for next week."
Scott also indicated Esava Ratugolea will be available for selection next week.