BENDIGO Gold coach Aussie Jones has labelled his side’s kicking and decision making against Coburg as “unacceptable”.
The winless Gold suffered a 68-point loss to a Coburg side which was only two places above it on the ladder heading into Sunday’s clash at the QEO.
“That was unacceptable at this level,’’ Jones said after the 17.15 (117) to 6.13 (49) defeat.
“Our skill errors and decision making was well below par and that made the margin greater than it should have been.
“We have a group that is just too inconsistent. The gap between the good and the bad is just far too great.”
Coburg all but sealed the four points in the first term, kicking seven goals to one.
“There was a great feel amongst the group before the game, but we’re really struggling to turn what we do at training through the week into attitude when the real stuff begins,’’ Jones said.
“You just can’t give up starts like that.”
The Gold’s second quarter was one of its best efforts of the season.
Sparked by key forward Tyrone Downie, the Gold kicked 4.4 to Coburg’s 2.3 to cut the deficit to four goals at the main break.
Downie kicked three goals in the second term and set up skipper Steven Stroobants for the other goal.
His tackling and marking, including a three-deep hanger at centre half-forward, was superb.
The momentum Bendigo carried into half-time was soon quashed by Coburg in the third quarter.
The Lions lifted their intensity around the footy and Bendigo’s skill execution went from bad to worse.
Three of Coburg’s six third term goals came from turnovers deep inside Bendigo’s defensive 50.
The Lions added 6.5 to 1.2 for the quarter to open up a 57-point lead at three quarter-time.
Bendigo had more of the ball in the final term, but was again let down by poor kicking.
The home side could only add 0.5 for the quarter, while Coburg’s two goals came in red time.
“We worked really hard today, but those skill errors killed us,’’ Jones said.
“Even in front of goal we had three or four shots from inside 30m that we missed.”
Downie, four goals, was clearly Bendigo’s best player.
“Tigga (Downie) was brilliant today,’’ Jones said.
“He’s leading the way for us in so many ways.”
Grant Valles was solid in defence alongside Bendigo Pioneers-listed big man Jordan Mangan, who didn’t look out of place at VFL level.
Daniel Toman, Liam Byrne and Jackson Sketcher tried hard in Bendigo’s midfield group.
Former Heathcote full-forward Lech Featherstone looked dangerous all day for Coburg.
The big man finished with 3.3 from eight marks.
Next Sunday the Gold heads to Melbourne to play second-bottom side Frankston.