Watch Melbourne coach Mark Neeld's post-match press conference
Brent Moloney was fantastic against his old side as the Lions beat the Demons
MELBOURNE coach Mark Neeld said his side’s inability to limit the impact of former Demon Brent Moloney was the key factor in the Brisbane Lions' 28-point victory at the Gabba on Sunday.
Moloney finished his 150th AFL match with 35 disposals and 11 hard-ball gets in his first game against his former team after leaving the Dees in the off-season.
With Simon Black and Daniel Rich out, the Demons would have hoped to be able to compete with the Lions’ midfield but Moloney was a force the visitors could not stop.
"Brent played particularly well," Neeld said after the loss.
"If you've got a player who has that number (of possessions), that weighs in the opposition favour.
"The Lions got it away from us with the contested possession.
"The centre bounce was particularly good for them and we weren't combative enough in that area."
Neeld offered a straight bat when asked about Moloney's move to the Lions.
"Brent chose to leave. I can't do much about that," he said.
"Welcome to modern AFL footy. He left our club under free agency.
"He's entitled to do that. We couldn't match the offer. Good luck to him."
Moloney beat a number of Demon opponents and Neeld felt Nathan Jones’ inability to get past Andrew Raines in similar style tilted the match in the hosts’ favour.
"I thought what was particularly good for the Lions was Raines' job on Nathan Jones," Neeld said.
"We sent a few players to Brent but couldn’t stop him but Raines did a really good job on Nathan.
"Those two things together didn't fall in our favour."
The key spell in the game was the first eight minutes after half-time when the Lions kicked three goals, all from uncontested marks in their 50.
Neeld said a lack of concentration allowed the game to slip from a manageable one-goal deficit at the break to 20 points shortly afterwards.
"Brisbane use that uncontested kick to move the footy around and we needed to stay interested, for want of a better word, about manning the mark," Neeld said.
"Their guys were able to roll and go. We weren't able to slide them at the source and then you get that overlap and our defenders were always under pressure."