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'It's never opportune to lose by that margin'

'Outstanding' Kelly impresses for Cats Geelong assistant coach Matthew Knights praises the composure and strength of mature-age recruit Tim Kelly
It's never opportune to lose by that margin irrelevant of whether it's a pre-season game or a real match in the season proper
Matthew Knights

GEELONG was smashed in its opening JLT Community Seriesgame by Gold Coast on Sunday, but there's no panic just yet.

Assistant coach Matthew Knights said despite kicking just three goals in the 56-point hiding, the Cats would take the lessons and move on to Essendon next week. 

Full match coverage and stats

They would also likely welcome Patrick Dangerfield, skipper Joel Selwood and versatile big man Harry Taylor back to play the Bombers.

"It's never opportune to lose by that margin irrelevant of whether it's a pre-season game or a real match in the season proper," Knights said. 

"We were chasing the game for most of it.

"There's a few things we've got to work on out of this game, but (we're) looking forward to Essendon next week." 

Watch all JLT Community Series matches LIVE in the AFL Live Official App 

Knights said Geelong was punished for missing short kicks, which led to a slew of over-handballing and Gold Coast counter-attacks the other way. 

One bright spot to come out of the contest was the form of West Australian mature-aged recruit Tim Kelly. 

WATCH: Matthew Knights' full post-match media conference

Kelly racked up 13 disposals in his three quarters before being rested with a knock in the final term. 

"He just copped a cork in a contest," Knights said. 

"He could have kept playing, but it was one of those things where he'd played a fair proportion of the game up to that point.

"We just thought we'd get some ice straight into him and get him right for next week as quick as possible.

"I thought he was very composed and very good in the contest and we've certainly got something to work with there."

The 23-year-old finished second in the Sandover Medal last year before being taken by the Cats with pick 24 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

JLT Community Series: When's your team playing?

The only blight on Gold Coast's day was the late hamstring injury to livewire forward Sean Lemmens, who is now in doubt for round one.

New coach Stuart Dew said it was a shame for the small forward who had pressured relentlessly all day. 

WATCH: Stuart Dew's full post-match media conference

"We'll get back to the Coast and get it checked out, but from what we see it looks like a standard hamstring," Dew said. 

"He set the tone, no doubt Seany, in the first five or 10 minutes. 

"The boys love him for it, so it's a real shame for him. 

"If it's a hamstring, we'll no doubt see him soon." 

Dew said the Suns got "everything we wanted" from the match and was particularly happy with a plus-14 differential in the tackling stats.

WATCH: Sean Lemmens pings a hammy