IT'S not often a coach can walk away from a 10-goal defeat with half a smile on his face.
For Bendigo Gold coach Aussie Jones, Sunday's 61-point loss to VFL power Williamstown was one of those rare occasions.
Jones said the 21.17 (143) to 12.10 (82) scoreline wasn't a true reflection of how well the Gold played.
"We were poor for 20 minutes of football and the rest of the time we matched it with one of the best sides in the competition,'' Jones said.
"In the first 10 minutes of the game Williamstown kicked five goals to none and then a 10-minute patch early in the third quarter they outplayed us.
"In between times we moved the ball as well as we've moved the footy in the 18 months I've been at the club.
"We don't accept 10-goal defeats, but there was a lot of positive signs for us.
"We kicked 12.10 against a quality side and we missed four or five marks inside 30m of goal that we should have taken."
Key forward Tyrone Downie kicked four goals for the Gold.
"He played on a guy (Peter Faulks) that has been on Fremantle's list and absolutely destroyed him,'' Jones said.
"He missed a couple of opportunities as well that he would normally take."
Midfielders Sam Heavyside and Jake Aarts impressed and skipper Steve Stroobants relished a new role in defence.
"Heavyside's last month has probably been a bit down on his best, but today was as good as he has played at VFL level,'' Jones said.
"Stroobants we moved to the backline and he set us up with his great kicking. His leadership was first rate."
The Gold face Footscray next weekend before returning to the QEO on August 9 to play Richmond under lights.