Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin was disappointed to come away with a draw against Hawthorn — the first between the two sides in AFL/VFL history — lamenting the Demons’ lack of consistency over the last month of football.
“To be a really, really good club you want to be consistent. Every time you step out on the field you want to play the same way and for the large part of the season, we’ve been able to do that but there’s been patches in the last month where we have fluctuated,” said Goodwin.
“It’s another lesson for us in terms of what’s required. This is about building a winning culture; we just weren’t ruthless enough tonight in the areas we really value.”
The result continued a recent trend of struggles against lower ranked teams, with Melbourne missing multiple opportunities to strengthen their spot on top of the ladder.
“We respect the competition. Every team we play against is a challenge. There’s no question our best games have come against the top eight teams and some of the teams we are expected to win we haven’t quite got the results.
“I’m not too concerned about what that looks like, I am concerned about how we play and become unconditional about how we play week after week and that’s what builds a really strong footy team.”
The mood was flipped in the Hawthorn camp, with Alistair Clarkson proud of the young Hawks’ ability to stand up in the contest.
“Enormous satisfaction for us. We’re a young side coming up against a top of the ladder side, we gave them a three or four goal head start, for us to get ourselves back into the contest and give ourselves a chance to win was a real credit,” said Clarkson.
Naturally, the debate around the draw was a talking point, with Goodwin in favour of playing until a winner is declared.
“I like to see a result. We play the game to win. If you looked at the last centre bounce of the game, we were setting up to try and win the game. I think our supporters and fans love that, to see a result at the end of the day, however that may take place I think as a competition we should look at it.”