“That is as big a shellacking in general play, not so much on the scoreboard, but it’s as big a shellacking in general play that you will see in the game of footy.
“The energy was OK early but it definitely faded, the white flag went up for us. We look at it and all the things that we value in the way that we have gone about our footy we didn’t see today at all and it’s inexplicable to be honest.”
Buckley admitted they were beaten in all facets of the game and did not have a winner on any line. North hunted them from the opening and they could not match their hardness.
“For the first time for a long time we saw some average physical effort from our boys so it was plain for all to see, there was one side that bodylined the ball and ran hard and straight and there was another side that got out of the way a few times. It’s not easy to say but it’s the reality so there is a question that rightfully should be asked of us and we need to answer.
“The coaches and players that represented today we have got to own it, if we don’t own it we will create a bigger problem.”
Buckley said Collingwood again “leaked turnover scores” and were once more extremely sloppy in disposal.
“We definitely haven’t executed as well offensively the last couple of weeks in particular – missing simple targets – but today was the first time that we saw some really average physical efforts.
“We see it as an outlier but we need to make sure it is, so we will find a bit out about our character.”
“We pride ourselves as a group on having a third man in support and making our teammates jobs a little easier, and we didn’t do that at all tonight. You can lose a game of footy and not perform at your best, but you don’t ever want to have your teammates question whether you had their back or not and potentially we can question that tonight. That is how poor a performance it was and how disappointed we are by it.”
Further compounding the Pies woes, Ben Reid suffered a calf injury in the opening minutes while Brayden Sier was taken out of the game at half time with concussion from an incident that also occurred in the opening minutes. It is understood that it was a whiplash injury.
Jamie Elliott is a possibility to return new week as a replacement for Reid, while Taylor Adams is believed to be at least another week away.
“We have discussed that [players returning] too. In the end there are no white knights,” Buckley said.
Michael Gleeson is an award-winning senior sports writer specialising in AFL and athletics.