They had the ball at half-back when the siren sounded, and were moving forward.
Billings, 23, now in the Saints leadership group, said coach Alan Richardson told them to keep trusting their system and backing themselves in and hopefully it would turn.
“We tried to do that, but didn’t get across the line,” Billings said.
“We have taken great confidence with the way we have been playing; it’s been positive and I guess we only lost by five points tonight.
“It’s not disastrous.
“We would have liked the result to go the other way. But we take confidence with what we have done and hopefully we can bounce back next week and hopefully start better.
“The main thing is we bounce back and have a really good week; and attack next week.”
Billings continued his outstanding personal start to the season, with 32 touches and two goals against the Dockers.
He’s reaping the rewards of an outstanding pre-season, averaging almost 30 disposals a game over the first three games of the season.
The Saints should be boosted for the game against the Hawks by the return of Jack Steven, who didn’t travel to Perth and was listed as “managed” after a disrupted pre-season due to challenges with mental health issues.
Averaging five tackles and six clearances in the first two rounds, Steven would have been handy against the Dockers and will add depth the Saints midfield against the Hawks.
Coach Alan Richardson summed Steven’s importance to the team after the loss to the Dockers, saying “he makes us better”.
“When it is time to play with more dare, we need to get better. Jack is one of those players,” Richardson said.
“He is a line breaker; he makes us better and we’re hopeful he’ll be right to go next week.”