Melbourne coach Paul Roos has blasted the AFL strugglers after an appalling first half in their loss to Carlton.
While the Demons rallied well after halftime, Roos was having nothing of it after Carlton won 12.6 (78) to 7.13 (55) on Sunday at the MCG.
A week after the Western Bulldogs hammered Melbourne by 98 points, the Demons laid just five tackles in the first quarter.
Roos stressed he did not want to disrespect Carlton, but he was filthy with Melbourne’s start.
“Melbourne people are sick of hearing the same thing, to be perfectly frank,” Roos said.
“They would come and expect more from the first half.
“Melbourne people deserve better when they come to the MCG and watch us play.”
It meant Carlton handed Brisbane last place on the ladder with two games left.
In the battle of the Rising Star favourites, Carlton’s Patrick Cripps was best afield with 26 possessions.
Melbourne’s young gun Jesse Hogan went goal-less for the first time in his 18 AFL games, but that was largely not his fault.
Tony Lockett or John Coleman would have struggled with the poor standard of Melbourne’s supply to their forwards.
Asked about what was good about the match, Roos said “the weather”.
He added the loss was a sample of their season.
“What it shows you is exactly what we’ve said for most of the year – we haven’t been able to arrest the bad patches of play,” he said.
“Our best is very, very good and our worst is still as bad as what it was.
“So the top end, we’ve improved a lot, but the bottom end, we haven’t been able to improve at all.”
Roos said Melbourne had to start improving as a club.
“While I was sympathetic to the footy club and where it’s been, the coaching group now has been here for enough of a period of time to not worry about what happened in the past,” he said.
By contrast, there were so many Blues fans in their rooms post-match it looked like they had won a final.
It followed a tough week where Carlton cut Lachie Henderson after he confirmed he wants a trade at the end of the season.
After leading by 53 points early in the third term, Carlton’s lead was cut to 17 early in the last quarter before they steadied.
“To have such a brave performance from such an inexperienced group was pleasing – there’s some real spirit there,” said Blues coach John Barker.
It also is the perfect rebuke to speculation that Carlton might tank to maximise draft picks.
“We’re competitive animals and they (the players) would feel it’s a slight on their character and personalities,” Barker said.
But the win came at a cost, with captain Marc Murphy to miss the last two games of the season with a dislocated shoulder.