Werribee has suffered a tough loss in its practice match against Geelong, going down by 67 points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
Heading down to Geelong for the second time in six days - this time as the away side - Werribee entered the match riding high on the back of a big comeback win over old rival Williamstown but was quickly reminded of the often-fickle nature of football fortune.
Lacking the experience of resting players Kurt Aylett, Josh Corbett, Ryley Barrack, Ethan Petterwood, Nick Coughlan, and Andrew Hooper, the visitors found themselves battling to keep the ball out of their defensive half against an impressive Cats outfit boasting plenty of AFL talent.
Despite strong tackling pressure from Werribee, Geelong were well on top in the clearances and inside-50 count early, a lack of accuracy from the Cats helping keeping their rivals within 32 points at the main change.
But any hopes of yet another Werribee fightback were quickly dashed after the main break as Geelong found its collective kicking books to slam home four goals in the first seven minutes and effectively ice the contest.
To its credit, the young Werribee side dug in over the final quarter and a half, clamping down on the Cats and generating plenty of its own opportunities in front of goal.
Stepping up from his regular forward-line duties in the absence of John Lamont, Werribee acting senior coach Jacob Spolding identified plenty of areas for improvement.
"We just couldn't win enough of the footy early," Spolding said.
"Geelong got a lot of football early at the clearances, so that's an area we need to obviously work on, just making sure we can get our hands on the footy and get it going our way.
"That then allows our defenders to step up and get proactive, and our defensive mechanisms and how we want to defend can then come off the back of that.
"We just gave up too much easy ball outside the centre square and at stoppages around the ground, which hurt us a bit, and I don't think we utilised the ball well enough at times when we did have it."
Despite the disappointing result, there were a number of positives for Werribee at an individual level.
Joe Maishman was a standout in the midfield, Harry Boyd put in a strong performance at full back against AFL-listed big man Esava Ratugolea, and Sam Collins racked up plenty of contested marks across half back.
Werribee will now regroup for its season launch at Sunday's Weerama Festival before taking on Essendon in its final practice match on Saturday at RAMS Arena in Craigieburn.
Geelong: 4.6 6.10 10.13 13.16 (94)
Werribee: 1.1 2.2 3.2 4.3 (27)
Werribee: Matthew Munro, Jack Berry, Kye Declase, Matthew Brett