Demons, Dockers, Power left humiliated by defeats

Nathan Jones trudges from the field after his Demons suffered defeat at the hands of the Bombers. Photo: AAP Image
Nathan Jones trudges from the field after his Demons suffered defeat at the hands of the Bombers. Photo: AAP Image

NAME and shame 'em...

No, not those illicit drug-users. We can debate whether that should occur somewhere else this week.

I'm talking about the teams which suffered humiliating defeats, and the players that most allowed them to occur.

Let's start with Melbourne, which may have gotten used to being embarrassed out on the park, but Saturday's loss to the undermanned Essendon was something else.

We all thought the Demons had finally turned the corner following their come-from-behind win over GWS, but they resemble Clark Griswald when confronting a roundabout for the first time in the film European Vacation. They just keep going around in circles.

The Demons allowed the Bombers to rack up 139 marks to 68 at the MCG - and go on to record the shock win many doubted would even come this season. Bombers spearhead Joe Daniher took 15 grabs alone, while up the other end Jack Watts and Jesse Hogan shared just eight.

"I think there's some of them that probably would have turned up today thinking it's a pretty easy day at the office and we know in AFL footy it can certainly bite you in the backside," Demons coach Paul Roos said. "The ones you perhaps thought were big-headed, you need to sit them down and say 'You've got to respect the competition'."

Melbourne certainly lost plenty of respect with the result, and you wonder if Roos is now actually looking forward to handing over the poisoned chalice to Simon Goodwin in 2017.

Port Adelaide was supposed to challenge for the premiership this season with their rapid-fire, hell-for-leather game, but expectation is what is diminishing as quickly as opposition goals are being kicked against it.

The Power allowed St Kilda to kick 14 goals to three-quarter time last week and then came the display at the Adelaide Oval - allowing the Crows to equal the record for highest score in a Showdown.

But, while the defence has been rightfully lambasted, the attack also needs to be hauled over the hot coals, a la Nigel Smart. The Power did win the inside-50s 70-55, but star recruit Charlie Dixon, All Australian Chad Wingard and livewire Jake Neade kicked one goal between them.

"We had a poor day, but we're going to bounce back," Power coach Ken Hinkley, who, it must be said, will be feeling more and more heat if the Power endures another wasted season.

Fremantle had three Pearces playing against Gold Coast in Perth - Clancee, Alex and Danyle - but it's the Dockers' defence that is getting pierced like never before with Ross Lyon at the helm.

Freo conceded the second-highest score (126) under the master coach's reign, after allowing the Bulldogs to kick 15 goals against them.

"We're 0-2, I've been in bigger holes than this," Lyon said post-match.

Of course, he wasn't standing in his team's defence when he made that comment. With the retirement of Luke McPharlin, Zac Dawson now leads a backline that is suddenly more flimsy than a stripper's underwear.

Take nothing away from Essendon, Adelaide or Gold Coast, however - they were all outstanding.



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