Forty-one seconds was all that stood between Melbourne and a morale-boosting win last time they played St Kilda just six weeks ago.
But the Demons’ inability to defend a hard-fought four-point lead, and allow Leigh Montagna to run into an open goal to score the match winner, left Paul Roos and his players open to some stinging criticism.
Melbourne take on the Saints again on Sunday, this time at the MCG instead of Etihad Stadium, and Roos is confident the Demons have learned a harsh but valuable lesson.
“A lot was said about the last 41 seconds and rightly so because we didn’t handle it well. But they deserved to win over the course of the game,” Roos said on Friday.
“Both teams had an opportunity and they took theirs.
“We’ve got so much to teach the guys, sometimes you forget to teach them those sorts of things as they did against St Kilda. We tried to get it done in real time and we didn’t do a good job.
“So we’ve obviously spoken more about it over the last six weeks but we don’t address it specifically this week other than in the normal course of training or discussion.
“It was a good learning situation for our guys (but) you’d rather learn and win rather than learn and lose.”
That two-point defeat was Melbourne’s 11th loss in a row against St Kilda. Roos put his hand up for the past two defeats under his watch but said the run of losses had little, if any bearing on Sunday’s contest.
After last week’s gritty win over Brisbane, the 15th-placed Demons have an identical 5-10 record to the 13th-placed Saints and Roos said it was important for the side’s development to manage back-to-back wins.
“We haven’t been able to do it in my time,” he said.
“I think we’ve had a good four or five-week patch but we’ve only got two wins.
“I think the consistency is there, it’s certainly a lot better than at any other time in my time here but the best way to show people you’re more consistent is by winning games.”