JACK Watts says a range of emotions were felt from his side after Melbourne’s 29-point loss to Geelong at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Watts, who had 23 disposals, kicked two goals and impressed in the ruck when Max Gawn was injured, said his team played strongly in a host of areas, but was let down by wasteful kicking for goal.
“We played a really good brand of footy and in patches of that game we dominated. We played the game in our half and everyone could see that – we just couldn’t put it on the scoreboard,” he told Melbourne TV.
“We just kept missing those opportunities and eventually it gets on top of you and it didn’t help us – them (Geelong) missing anything.
“It was a really frustrating one as we think we were right in the game. Credit to them – they finished off well and ran over the top of us, but it’s a tough one. We were happy with how we played, but it was a disappointing result.”
With Melbourne having six more scoring shots than Geelong – 32 to 26 – Watts said it was a major reason for the loss, but not entirely.
“It’s never as simple as that, but it has a big factor, when you keep dominating play and you’re putting all of this work in and you’re working your arse off. Then we’re getting the opportunity and we miss – and it wasn’t just one or two, I can remember six, seven or eight shots at goal,” he said.
“But if we keep playing like that, it’s not going to happen every week, is it? If we play the right way … we’ll get some good results.
“Going into the season three and zero would’ve been pretty nice. We just can’t continue to give those [games] away.”
Despite the loss and the absence of some key personnel, Watts said Melbourne’s start to the season had been positive.
“I think we’re playing good footy. I think with big Maxy going down probably hurts us, but we’ve got some guys playing some seriously good footy in our seconds and big Jakey Spencer will be ready to go,” he said.
“It doesn’t really matter about the personnel for us – that’s what we’ve been talking about all pre-season, the process, the way we play and our game style and that’ll stack up no matter who’s in the team.
“We lost Hoges (Jesse Hogan) and Lewy (Jordan Lewis), who are two of our best players and we’ve come out and played a really good brand. Guys have come in and know what they have to do – they just play their role and we’ll continue to do that in the coming weeks.
“We’ve had a really good start and we can’t forget that. It’s a disappointing one, but we’ll get back on the horse, recover well and rip into next week.”
Watts said he was pleased with his game, which earned plaudits from coach Simon Goodwin post-match.
“I thought I started pretty well and then when big Maxy went down in the ruck, I thought I competed well – and that’s what I thought early, as a forward, I was making the contest,” he said.
“That’s all the coaches and my teammates wanted from me.
“I’ll continue to do that, keep working at training and bring it next week and hopefully we’ll have a different result next week.”