GEELONG coach Chris Scott conceded Thursday night's loss to Brisbane was the Cats' worst defeat for a long time, but said there was no need to panic.
Geelong was out-pressured by a hungry Lions team that kicked the first five goals at the Gabba on the way to a comfortable 44-point victory.
The loss came after Geelong had strung together six straight wins, including victories over Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs in the past fortnight.
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Scott said in the big picture the Cats are still well placed, but had plenty to think about following the loss, which was their heaviest since 2017.
He was glowing of Brisbane's pressure, but said there was plenty of parts of their own game that needed attention.
"It's a long time since we've been beaten that badly," Scott said.
"So you never come away thinking, 'Oh, well, that's fine'.
"We can't completely gloss over it, but there's a big body of evidence that we've put together now.
"In the context of the season for us, the take away for me is that we’ve got a bit to work on, we shouldn’t gloss over it, but we also shouldn’t drop our bundle.
"We are in a pretty good position, have played much, much better than that and I'm confident we’ll play much better than that for the rest of the season."
A number of Geelong's most influential players were well below their best, including skipper Joel Selwood (13 disposals) and forwards Tom Hawkins (one goal) and Jeremy Cameron (goalless).
Scott said collectively his midfield group was down, although the Cats won the clearance and contested possessions counts.
"I'm not in the business of castigating players who have been really good for you for a long period of time, on the basis of one performance," he said.
"We've got a lot more optimism in our thoughts than pessimism right at the moment, even though it stings a bit, but you get beaten by a good opposition sometimes."
That good team was the Lions, who won a ninth game out of their past 10 matches and moved into third place.
Coach Chris Fagan was all smiles following the triumph, even moreso as it appears Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale has escaped a serious shoulder injury.
Neale left the field in the opening quarter clutching his right shoulder, but returned minutes later to play the match out.
"I think he just got a bit of a jar really and he was able to come out without any strapping or anything like that," Fagan said.
"It’ll probably be a bit sore tomorrow I imagine, but we’ve got a few days to get ready for Adelaide, so he should be fine as far as I know."
Fagan said following losses to Melbourne, the Bulldogs and Geelong earlier in the year, it was nice to defeat a top-four team.
"I thought the feature tonight was our tackling and our pressure;" he said.
"I feel like every week is a challenge, and teams and the game keep evolving so I don't think you can ever sit back.
"There's a long way to go in the season, there's a lot of work to do, so we'll just keep our feet firmly on the ground and plan each week and respect each opposition we play against."