Manly coach Geoff Toovey and co-captain Jamie Lyon were at a loss to explain Friday night's 'embarrassing' preliminary final defeat by Melbourne that ended their premiership defence.
The Storm went into the match at AAMI Park as hot favourites but the 40-12 result did not fully reflect their dominance as the Sea Eagles bumbled through the 80 minutes.
Anthony Watmough dropped the ball on the opening set inside the first minute of the contest and it signalled what was to come from the visitors as they made 17 errors, many of them when they put down simple catches.
Throw in seven penalties against them as well and it was extraordinary that they were only 12-6 down at half-time after Lyon scored late to capitalise on his Storm counterpart Cameron Smith's failure to convert any of his team's three tries in the first 18 minutes.
That left Toovey and Lyon 'confident' that they could mount a second-half comeback even though they had played 'terrible' footy.
But while Lyon scored again after a Gareth Widdop mistake with 28 minutes left, Melbourne had already added eight points of their own and would respond to conceding Lyon's second try with three more converted four-pointers in the final 20 minutes.
It was an effort that neither first-year coach Toovey nor Lyon saw coming just a week after they had seen off North Queensland.
"I don't mind losing, I think we've had a fantastic season but to finish on that note with such a poor display I think I'm just really gutted," Toovey said.
"Myself and I think the players are terribly disappointed to finish the year on that note.
"I don't mind losing if we play well but we were just way off the mark tonight.
"(It's) very disappointing how many balls we dropped," Lyon said.
"You just can't compete in big games like this when you haven't got the ball.
"We were our own worst enemy.
"To come up against a side like Melbourne and do that, they're just going to towel you up and they did that tonight.
"Some of them (the dropped balls) were easy catches, they were just straightforward.
"A couple of you people in here probably could've caught some of the balls that we dropped tonight.
"It was a little bit embarrassing but it's just bad timing I suppose."
Toovey refused to criticise video referees Russell Smith and Sean Hampstead despite them awarding a first-half try to Billy Slater in which he appeared to lose the ball attempting to dive over from dummy half.
Having benefitted from a video ref howler a week earlier in a much closer contest against the Cowboys, Toovey was not about to let fly when his team had conceded seven tries.
"It didn't matter," he added.
"That's luck, we had a bit of luck last week, you make your own luck.
"In response to that though, (my question would be) what was he (Slater) doing near the line with the ball, he shouldn't have been down there in the vicinity of the try-line.
"If he wasn't down there then he couldn't have scored the try."