Furious South East Melbourne coach Simon Mitchell labelled his team’s walloping at the hands of local rivals Melbourne United on Sunday at as “absolute trash” and “horrendous”.

After only trailing by three points at halftime, the Phoenix was blown out of the water, prompting Mitchell to describe his team’s third quarter as “disgusting”, saying they “failed a test” United threw at them.

“I don’t know where to start,” an exasperated Mitchell said post-game. having lost 110-85 in the local derby.

“I didn’t recognise the scout being executed – guys got defeated and down on themselves early, our ball pick-ups weren’t there, our tags on the offensive boards weren’t there, we were letting guys get free run, we got beat on transition, they executed on all their plays they shouldn’t be executing on us.”

The Phoenix was missing Zhou Qi (calf), co-captain Kyle Adnam (Covid) and star swing man Ryan Broekhoff, who injured his hamstring in the warm-up, but Mitchell refused to use that as an excuse.

“It was more to do with the effort, I thought it was really poor, really poor, and I can’t put a finger on why,” he said.

“We had everything to play for tonight, we had a team (United) coming off a bad loss (against Cairns) and they had to travel (from Cairns).

“That third quarter was disgusting – there’s going to be a really long video session for that.”

Mitchell wasn’t sure how severe Broekhoff’s latest injury was but said the former Dallas Maverick was “tremendously upset” before the game.

“I was pretty freaking upset when I heard the news as well,” Mitchell said.

“That seemed to shake us up a little bit and it really shouldn’t. There were guys given opportunities who really should’ve been trying to clasp it with both hands and I think we failed in that.”

United coach Dean Vickerman revealed the decision to have a snap team meeting on Sunday morning so soon after returning from the road played a pivotal role in the result.

“It’s something that you probably wouldn’t do, when you’ve got a delayed flight and you don’t get in until seven o’clock at night coming back from Cairns, is to get up at nine o’clock and have a meeting, but we needed it,” Vickerman said.

“I’m proud of the group. It’s not an easy trip coming back from there (Cairns) and you saw sometimes that we were super gassed, but I thought we fought pretty strong today.”

Vickerman was full of praise for United captain Chris Goulding, who was outstanding with a team-high 30 points on 10-17 shooting, including 7-12 from three.

“He’s not only putting the ball into the hole tonight, but there’s the threat of creation and his passing ability just opened up things for a lot of other people,” Vickerman said.

Goulding finished the contest on the bench, appearing to clutch his groin, but he insisted he was fine.

“I just wanted to get out. We’ve got young kids champing at the bit,” he said.

“But it’s been a big weekend. At certain times we’re fatigued, so it was just a good opportunity to get out and get our young guys in and reward them for their hard work.”

Phoenix big man Alan Williams threatened to single-handedly win the game for South East in the first half with a whopping 20 points and 10 rebounds, but Vickerman was rapt with his team’s ability to quell his influence and match the Phoenix on the boards after halftime.

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