BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan has steered clear of a contentious umpiring decision that led to a Tom Hawkins mark and goal late in his team's 10-point loss to Geelong on Friday night.
With the Cats up by two points and six minutes remaining, Hawkins appeared to push Lions defender Harris Andrews before taking a mark and snapping a goal to give the home team some breathing space.
Andrews questioned the decision on-field and was told by the controlling umpire Hawkins was holding his ground.
When asked about the incident post-match, Fagan played a straight bat.
"I'm better off to let you blokes talk about that," he said.
"I don't comment on umpires, it's a difficult game to umpire.
"I haven't had a chance to look at the replay, so it wouldn't be a good idea to say anything at this point in time."
CATS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
Fagan was quick to say the best team won, highlighting Geelong's superior strength around the contest, ability to break tackles and ability to gain ground from stoppages that gave them territorial advantage.
"They had a lot of inside 50s, they had a lot of scoring opportunities," he said.
"Our blokes stuck at it, but our game didn't reach any high standard and a lot of that was due to Geelong's pressure. The best team won tonight.
"We didn't play to the level we can, but the opposition have something to do with that."
Chris Scott was all smiles after the victory, particularly considering Geelong rested skipper Joel Selwood and had stand-in captain Tom Stewart withdraw prior to the match with gastro.
While Hawkins booted five goals and Isaac Smith gathered 29 disposals to be among the best players on the field, Geelong's coach was delighted with his younger players.
He praised Sam De Koning, believing the GMHBA Stadium crowd "fell in love" with the young defender, Mark O'Connor for his persistent job tagging Lachie Neale, and Gryan Miers (25 disposals) who had more influence as the match wore on.
Scott said winning without Selwood would do a lot for his team.
"I think it's really validating for our young players to know they can get it done without him," he said.
"We'd prefer not to get it done without him too often, but I thought they really stepped up."
Scott said he didn't think about the late umpiring decision between Hawkins and Andrews, but did offer: "No one remembers the hands in the back rule, but the game's much better without it."
Quinton Narkle was in a moonboot after leaving the field late in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
"He's pretty sore," Scott said.
"I'm repeating what the medical staff told me. The mechanism was quite severe.
"They were a little bit worried about it, but a bit more optimistic that it's not a really serious one.
"It'll take a bit of time to tell. Those things tend to swell up pretty quickly and can hide some of the real damage."