CARLTON coach David Teague found it "very hard" to watch as his side failed to match the intensity and pressure that Greater Western Sydney brought to the game, as his side lost by 36 points at Giants Stadium.
The Blues came into their first game after a bye looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses and news that that club was set to undertake a mid-season review of the football department.
But rather than coming out firing the Blues lacked the required pressure early and allowed the Giants to kick the first three goals of the game and set the tone for the match.
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Despite having 38 fewer possessions in the first half, the Blues were also behind 20-45 in the tackle count at half-time with 12 players failing to lay a tackle in that period. Only two Giants didn’t record a tackle in that time. The tackle count finished 78-41 in the Giants favour.
"I thought they smacked us around the ball and particularly in the tackle count," David Teague said.
"The tackling intensity was definitely [disappointing]. We thought we picked our tougher team, we thought to beat GWS you've got to be strong in the contests and win the ball but also tackle them and pressure them. But they beat us in the tackles and then they beat us on the outside.
"We've had a few disappointing ones but that's right up there. It was very hard, it was very frustrating to watch.”
The 36-point margin was the biggest loss for the Blues this season, and means the Blues now sit on four wins and nine losses with little hope of featuring in the finals for the first time since 2013.
It also came in the first match the Blues have played since the club initiated a review into their football department.
"It falls on all of us, the coaches, the playing group. We're all in this together and we've got to learn together and grow together," Teague said.
"Right now we're in a real pit, we're not playing great football, we're not playing with confidence.
"To get out of that you've got to work hard, you've got to have honest, accountable feedback, and we'll do that, we'll be really strong and clear with the boys with what's happening."
Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron has backed Toby Greene and the way that he plays the game, despite the Giants’ stand-in skipper being reported for striking after his swinging arm made contact with the Blues’ Nic Newman’s stomach in the third term.
Greene could also come under the scrutiny of the MRO for making contact with an umpire when he seemed to acknowledge the report by tapping the umpire on the chest.
"Toby in the last couple of years has gone a long way to tidying up a lot of those things," Cameron said.
"He's not putting himself in those positions that he was earlier in his career. He's the one that has put his hand up in the past and really want to address it and let his footy do the talking.
"Toby is such a passionate player, and that's what we love about him.
"I love his passion, I love the way he goes about his footy, I love the way he's leading. There's a lot of good things and a lot of right things going on with Toby Greene at the moment."