WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge praised his side's mentality to get within a kick of Geelong amid a moving COVID-19 landscape that has changed his side's preparations for next week's date with West Coast.
Only a Gary Rohan set shot after the siren denied the Dogs snapping an 18-year losing streak at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.
Beveridge confirmed that the Dogs' plan to spend time in New South Wales before flying to Perth to face the Eagles had been kyboshed with the club now set to fly to Western Australia on Sunday and stay at Joondalup report for seven days before facing West Coast.
"There's a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment," Beveridge said after the Dogs' five-point loss.
"For them (players) to turn and put some of the peripheral things out of their head and just focus on the challenge of playing the Cats at their home base and to get so close, we're grateful for what our boys did tonight.
"Pre-game, there was a lot of organisation that went into going to New South Wales amongst everyone … with family and friends and with each other.
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"For it all to be shut down and now with the probability that the AFL are going to want us to be under tight restrictions somewhere to play the West Coast Eagles, that compared to having a few days off and refreshing, is pretty extreme.
"The circumstances are a bit different this time than what they have been. I think with the freedoms going back in Victoria, the problem is now all the borders are closing to each other with the cases Australia-wide so we're in a bit of a bind."
Key forward Aaron Naughton was subbed out of the game at the main break with a rib injury but subsequent scans cleared him of any damage.
He will join the travelling party and remains a chance to face the Eagles next week.
Geelong coach Chris Scott said he told Rohan post-game that he wouldn't have wanted the ball in any other player's hands kicking to win the match.
"I said that to him post-game and I genuinely believe it, not only in our team but across the competition. I've thought that for a long period of time," Scott said.
"I think over the journey he's probably received some criticism for his consistency and he plays a position that's very hard to be consistent in.
"But in terms of standing up in big moments and backing your routine and wanting that situation, I can't think of many better and I don't think that would've been the analysis of Gary Rohan five, six, seven years ago."
Scott said the Cats were confident Tom Hawkins hadn't suffered serious damage to a neck injury that sidelined him for parts of the final term in what could prove to be a pinched nerve, while it was too early to assess Mitch Duncan's knee injury.
He added that the late change of Lachie Henderson (hip), and early injury to Duncan, meant medical sub Shaun Higgins was forced play after originally planning to rest him.
When asked why carryover emergency Zach Guthrie wasn't called upon, Scott said: "I can't explain that to you without telling you things I don't want to tell you."
The Cats look set to fly to Brisbane this week to face the Lions at the Gabba on Thursday night after telling players and staff not to enter Melbourne in the past week in order to gain entry to Queensland.