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First Crack, Brisbane Lions, loss, MCG hoodoo, Melbourne Demons, thriller, Jake Melksham goal, Leigh Montagna, criticism

Brisbane “blew a golden opportunity” to keep their top two hopes alive because they were “confused” in the dying stages of the loss to Melbourne, Leigh Montagna says.

The Lions were up by 25 points with less than 10 minutes to go in their blockbuster clash on Friday night but let the four points slip away.

Montagna said the Lions will be questioning how they could let that win slip when they’re forced to travel come finals.

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“For me, you talk about having cracks at winning flags – this is their fifth year in a row at having a crack at winning the premiership,” he said on First Crack.

“I thought on Friday night they blew a golden opportunity to get a top-two spot.

“Home ground advantage, home crowd and their best chance to make a grand final that they’ve been chasing. They would have got within one game of Port Adelaide.

“They are still two games back and I think they’re going to finish third and have to travel twice to win this premiership.”

Dees seal one point win in thriller! | 02:57

Montagna said Brisbane had “every opportunity” against Melbourne but vision from the dying minutes showed they didn’t have a plan in place when it came down to it.

“How many premiership teams blow a 25 point lead with eight minutes to go in a game? I don’t see it,” he said.

“It’s got nothing to do with their talent, nothing to do with their system. The question mark revolves around their leadership and whether they can get it done in the big moments.

“They’ve now won three of their last 10 games decided by 10 points or less in the last three years.”

First Crack highlighted vision of Cam Rayner opting to drift forward of the ball, instead of going man-on-man with opponent Angus Brayshaw with three minutes remaining – in a move that allowed the Dees to get the ball into attack.

The stoppage before Demon Jake Melksham ended up taking the mark and kicking the winning goal had players including Charlie Cameron looking around to the bench trying to find out how much time was left and what the plan was.

‘Isn’t it clear?’ – Bucks backs ump in c | 02:14

“They are confused,” Montagna said.

“Jack Gunston was pleading for someone to come back.

“Brisbane were one midfielder short at that stoppage.

“I’m thinking to myself a team that’s been on top for five years that are trying to win a flag, that should be automatic what they are doing to save a game.

“Where’s your save the game mode? We’ve lauded Collingwood (for theirs).

“They were confused.”

Montagna also showed vision of coach Chris Fagan pacing in the box and questioned whether his actions contributed to the general disarray.

“You see Chris Fagan, he was nervous, standing up, looking around,” he highlighted.

“We want players on the field to show composure and you’re sort of going, ‘is Fagan helping the coaches?’

“I think they blew it.”

Brisbane Lions Press Conference | 03:28

Montagna said he had no doubt the Lions would rue the loss when it came to finals and they had to travel.

“When they have to travel, go to Adelaide or to the MCG… I think they’ll have to do it the hard way now (to make the grand final)… I think they’ll look back at that final two minute and say if only.”

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