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Coach Chris Scott has lamented his side's inability to execute basic fundamentals after Geelong suffered yet another first-up finals failure in a 43-point hammering from Port Adelaide.
The Cats were humiliated in Friday night's qualifying final, with the 12.14 (86) to 5.13 (43) belting their eighth defeat in nine appearances in the opening week of the finals over the last decade.
Having faced the same questions after a loss to the Power at the same stage last season, Scott again dismissed suggestions his club's possession-based game style cracks under finals pressure.
"The pressure goes up in finals, I think everyone would accept that as a truism, but I don't think it's an over-possession thing," Scott said.
"Some of our ball-use was uncharacteristic and I don't think that was anything to do with their pressure - we just kicked it to them a bit and gave them some really open looks in their forward 50.
"The pressure around the contest when the ball was bobbling around and we had clear possession and couldn't get through - that was the part I thought they executed really well."
Milestone man Tom Hawkins kicked two goals in his 300th game as Geelong's only multiple goal kicker.
The Cats registered their lowest score of the season in a final for the fifth time in the last six years.
"The stakes were high, so it was very disappointing not to deliver, and the stakes were even higher given it was Tom's milestone game," Scott said.
"It was a poor performance and virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong throughout the course of the night."
Scott refused to use his side's preparation as an excuse, with the Cats forced into quarantine during the build-up to satisfy South Australian government protocols around travelling into the state from Victoria.
All Australian defender Aliir Aliir was dominant for Port Adelaide in his intercepting role, with Tom Jonas and Trent McKenzie holding down the key posts on Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.
"It was disappointing for us because it wasn't a surprise to us at all," Scott said.
"We planned for Aliir to take a small (forward) and we just didn't execute that part of our plan well enough."
Mark O'Connor was substituted out of the match before halftime with a left hamstring injury in a recurrence of the issue that saw the utility miss six weeks earlier in the season.
"It's too early for us to assess," Scott said.
"I would assume it's going to be a challenge (for O'Connor to return this season), but I am assuming.
"The good news is we'll have Zach Tuohy available next week."
Geelong will meet the winner of Saturday's Sydney-GWS clash in a semi-final next Friday night.