ROOKIE coach Matthew Nicks didn't mince his words after Adelaide's thumping Showdown loss on Saturday night, labelling the performance "bruise-free" and "embarrassing".
Cross-town rival Port Adelaide illustrated the size of Nicks' task to lift the Crows back up the ladder with a club-record 75-point victory in Showdown 48 at Adelaide Oval.
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Nicks bemoaned his players' inconsistency after a bright start, and their inability to match the Power in the contest as they dropped to 0-2 on the season.
"I thought we put 10 minutes of footy out on the ground and looked pretty good early and then unfortunately we completely dropped away," he told reporters.
"It's a really embarrassing performance (and) disappointing for us, because we know that's not how we're going to win games of footy and we're not going to challenge sides.
"All credit to Port – they ran hard, they got their tails up and they were pretty hard to stop, after we allowed them to run freely into their forward line.
"Looking at some of the (game) vision back, it's just a disappointing day for us but hopefully one we learn from."
Nicks found minor positives in the efforts of his younger players, including Chayce Jones, but said he would not accept some of what he saw of Adelaide's "off-ball" work.
"We're not all young. We've got some guys in our group who know better that physicality is part of AFL footy and if you're not going to embrace it, well, you're going to be chasing," he said.
"What ends up happening is we're working harder than we have to, because we won't do the work off-ball.
"It should be an easy fix but there is a certain amount you have to buy into that – and we will."
Nicks listed Shane McAdam, Myles Poholke and Andrew McPherson as the Crows' standouts in the earlier scratch game between the players from both clubs who missed selection.
Meanwhile, now-dual Showdown medallist Travis Boak hailed Port Adelaide's ruthless display in the famed prison-bar jumper.
The Power wore the strip in a Showdown for the first time and club powerbrokers want to do so every year in the all-South Australian clash.
"I think every time you put it on it means a lot and you're representing more than just yourself," Boak said.
"You've got your teammates, you've got past history, you've got everyone who's been involved in the footy club, you've got everyone who's involved in the Port Adelaide area, and there's so much history to that jumper.
"Every time you put it on, it is like armour for us.
"'Ebo' (Brad Ebert) turned up tonight, and some of the stuff he did in the first half was like, 'Wow' … the rich history he's had with the jumper and even some of the young kids, they absorb that energy.
"I hope we made our fans proud tonight in our 150th celebration this year in a Showdown and representing that guernsey."
Boak said wearing the black and white guernsey in every Showdown would "mean even more".