MELBOURNE coach Simon Goodwin said his side was simply outplayed at the SCG on Monday afternoon, failing to take control of the Queen’s Birthday clash against Collingwood.
The Demons fell to the Pies by 17 points and struggled to ever get the game on their terms, with some key areas going the way of the black and white.
Giving credit where credit was due, Goodwin acknowledged Collingwood’s effort but said it was his group’s inefficiency that proved most costly.
“I thought they (Collingwood) were outstanding,” he said in his post-match press conference.
“They played a great game, and they were better than us in a lot of areas, especially areas that we really value.
“We had more supply, but we were really poor executing forward of centre, which gave them great looks with the ball in hand.
“What we learned today is our ability to use the ball effectively is an area we need to get better at.
"It cost us defensively, it cost us on turnover, and they beat us in the stoppage game, and they also beat us in the turnover game.
"There weren't too many things to like about our game, but that was one area that I thought cost us dearly – our ability to use the ball, especially inside 50."
An honest review of a tough afternoon.— Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) June 14, 2021
Jake Lever reflects on what went wrong + where the improvement needs to come. ???? pic.twitter.com/9ThOlMRh6B
While conversion up forward was a concern, so too was the contest work.
The Demons, who are known for their grunt in the middle and at the stoppage, were topped on this occasion, with Collingwood registering 10 more clearances – five more of which were from the centre.
Add to that some defensive trouble and the scoreboard told the story.
“They had 125 marks and 12 intercept marks in our forward 50, so once they get an intercept mark, that starts their chain of possession,” Goodwin said.
“We have to tidy up what we do with our ball going in on entry, we need to compete better forward of centre, and we need to defend to a higher level to win games of footy.”
The match was a special one for both sides, coming together for Neale Daniher and his FightMND team, where raising funds for motor neurone disease was at the forefront.
It had extra significance for Collingwood, as it marked the end of Nathan Buckley’s coaching tenure.
Regardless of whether this had any impact on the game, Goodwin said the Demons want to be embracing these moments and standing up to the challenge.
“We want to play in those games,” he said.
“We want to play in games where there is emotion, where there is a big stage, and be able to perform under that.
“Today, we didn’t. So, we will go away, learn from that, understand what we need to do better and certainly use the experience that right way.”
Melbourne will now head into the bye round with an 11-2 record and look to regroup for a clash with Essendon in 12 days’ time.