Former Melbourne captain Garry Lyon has unleashed on his side after what he deemed an “insipid” and “shambolic” performance against Port Adelaide.
Despite coming into the match on the back of some good form, the Demons were second-best from the first minute, scoring just one goal in the first half, before Port Adelaide ran away 12. 11. (83) to 4. 8. (32) winners.
The Demons were badly let down by some basic skill errors, especially from their star players such as Clayton Oliver, in Port Adelaide’s 51-point win at the Gabba.
The performance left Lyon incensed, as he questioned the Demons’ effort level.
“Port Adelaide were clinical, Melbourne were pathetic,” Lyon told Fox Footy.
“They continually serve this up year after year after year, and they’ve got to own it.
“It was an insipid performance.
“That’s where the flakiness comes from, it’s because you think that there are things being put in place and then you get a half like that.
“I’ve always said that this footy club has a crack – today you can question it, I don’t think there was any want or desire.
“Their inability to execute fundamental skills levels was shambolic. They couldn’t hit a target. The story was the opposition side’s ability to kick a ball 25 metres.”
Lyon’s statements on the Demons’ performance was echoed by St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt, who questioned Melbourne’s mental toughness.
“Is it a mentally tough group?” Riewoldt asked.
“Any player that you’ve played with that has that inconsistency of effort, you always question whether they have that mental toughness that every week, you run down the race and you know what you’re going to get from them.
“We haven’t been able to say that about Melbourne for a while.”
To make matters worse for Melbourne, Oliver could face scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after being reported for an errant elbow on Port Adelaide big man Peter Ladhams in the second quarter.
While the Demons were poor, Port Adelaide bounced back from a disappointing home loss to St Kilda in Round 8.
Star midfield duo Ollie Wines and Travis Boak were prolific, finishing with 25 disposals apiece, while young forward Mitch Georgiades turned in an impressive performance with three goals.
The loss leaves the Demons in 13th position with a lowly percentage of 89.9, while Port consolidated its position at the top of the ladder with a percentage of 146.0.