GEELONG coach Chris Scott has defended the club's decision to play an inexperienced side against Port Adelaide, claiming Sunday night's 40-point loss was far from a "disaster".
Scott's side was outplayed by the Power after quarter-time, albeit with the assistance of horribly inaccurate kicking; Scott's side booted 0.5 in the second term to Port's 4.1.
Geelong brought 21-year-old Josh Walker and 20-year-old Jackson Thurlow into the line-up, meaning Sunday's team featured seven players younger than 23 years of age.
While it would "sting" initially, Scott said the loss would prove valuable for the side's younger players.
"Believe it or not, I think we'll be better for this game, it stings short term – we didn't play well, they played very well – and in today's footy that means a lot," Scott said.
"It's possible we'll be better if we react the right way and do the work and we have a look at the things we need to improve on but we make no apologies for exposing our inexperienced players to the big stage.
"One game's not a disaster at all, we'll keep playing the young ones that are deserving of the opportunity and backing them in to do the job.
"If they have one off night then that's not a hanging offence."
Luckily for Scott and Cats' fans, the club didn't believe there was anything serious to a late knock to Tom Hawkins' knee.
Scott said the key forward was about to call it a night when he was hit by teammate Taylor Hunt awkwardly on the knee.
Hawkins stayed on the ground for several moments before limping from the ground.
But the coach said the 25-year-old, who booted two goals in the contest, hadn't suffered any serious damage.
"No [we don't think there's anything wrong], not at this stage, I did ask the question because we were trying to get him off given the game was done with only a couple of minutes to go," he said.
"Fortunately they think he's fine."