Scott blames 'rust' for Cats fade-out against Magpies

Coach Chris Scott is blaming "round-one rust" for Geelong's uncharacteristic AFL loss to Collingwood.

The Cats were overrun in Friday night's pulsating clash at the MCG, conceding the last eight goals of the match to lose by 22 points.

Vice-captain Tom Stewart is unlikely to play next week after suffering a knee injury early in the match.

But Scott is confident that Sam De Koning (knee), Tyson Stengle (shoulder) and Tom Hawkins (calf, knee) will be ready for next Thursday night's game against Carlton.

Geelong looked on the verge of breaking the game open several times before Collingwood took control.

The Cats led by as much as 22 points in the third term, but left the gate open.

"There was a bit of round-one rust," Scott said

"If you can't roll with the punches in round one, you're going to have a really frustrating year as a coaching group.

"I didn't go into this game thinking we're the best team in the comp.

"I knew we would have improvement in us.

Scott said several players were not at their best and they are set to regain several players, with former Gold Coast player Jack Bowes poised to make his Cats debut next week after missing Friday night's clash.

But Scott does not expect Stewart to be available.

"I would be surprised if he plays next week, but beyond that it's hard to say," he said.

Former Collingwood player Ollie Henry had an eventful debut for the Cats, with Magpies fans booing him throughout the match.

Henry put his hands to his ears as a gesture back to the Collingwood fans when he kicked a goal, but shortly after he was mown down in a superb tackle from Magpies captain Darcy Moore to deny the Cats a certain goal.

"It's probably symbolic of where he's at in his career," Scott said.

"He does some really, really special things, and other parts, some refinement is required.

"Stuff happens - behind closed doors, I would frame it differently."

Scott was rapt with Esava Ratugolea, who is now playing permanently as a key defender after struggling to find a regular place in the senior side.

"That was a really big win for us ... I'm excited about what he can do," Scott said.