Geelong coach Chris Scott will take a glass half full approach to his side's "stinging" one-point loss to Brisbane in what he said was a welcome challenge ahead of the AFL finals.
The Cats controlled the contest behind influential midfielder Patrick Dangerfield and kicked 17 points clear entering the final 10 minutes.
But the Lions found a way in front of a sell-out crowd, with ex-Cat Lincoln McCarthy's spectacular mark and goal giving the hosts a lead they clung to in the final 90 seconds to win 10.15 (75) to 10.14 (74).
Charlie Cameron (five goals) was a nuisance at ground level all day while Tom Hawkins was well held by Marcus Adams in defence as the Lions proved their credentials with a ninth-straight win.
Scott said the quality of the opponent and nature of the contest meant they shouldn't be too disheartened, while also hushing any suggestion that the Queensland heat worked against them.
We outplayed them for most of the game; that makes it sting when you have control of the game and let it slip," he said.
"It won't make me feel any better in the short term, but where we are positioned gives me a bit of confidence," he said.
"Disappointed, but it's not a disaster for us and that's as positive a spin I can put on it - but I think it's pretty close to the truth."
Scott said a deliberate out of bounds call against his side late in the final term was the wrong call, but that it didn't cost them the game.
"The errors that come in big moments are the ones that really sting, but what can you do?" he asked.
"Err on the side of caution (and not award a free kick) would be my suggestion, but they tend not to listen to me, which is not bad policy."
He also dismissed the idea Cameron was the difference between the sides, despite the speedster popping up at key moments all afternoon to spearhead the host's charge.
"I thought he was good late ... but I don't think he had a huge influence on the game; he took his chances when they presented," he said.
Australian Associated Press