Where to now for coaches?

COACHING an AFL club can be a tough old gig ... whether you are 38 years of age and coaching your fourth game or 60 and coaching your 692nd.

Justin Leppitsch and Mick Malthouse are at opposite ends of their coaching careers, but would have experienced that same hollow feeling on Saturday - and no doubt thoughts of 'where do we go from here' after their sides were humiliated.

Leppitsch's Lions were crushed to the tune of 113 points by Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval. As only its second 100-point loss, it was the club's second biggest defeat since the merger of Brisbane and Fitzroy in 1996.

Leaving his side entrenched at the bottom of the ladder after five rounds, not only has Leppitsch not enjoyed a victory since taking over from Michael Voss this season, he has not even tasted success in a single quarter.

The worst start to a season by any club, the Lions have lost all 16 terms they have contested.

St Kilda holds the record for most consecutive quarters lost overall (22), set way back in 1897.

GWS went close to topping that mark - twice in 2012 (20) and 2013 (18).

Brisbane hosts Richmond at the Gabba this Easter Thursday - and, with the way the Tigers have been travelling, the Lions may be able to snag at least a quarter but, a win looks beyond them after the damage done by the Power.

The loss of ruckman Matthew Leuenberger (knee) and rebounding defender Pearce Hanley (hamstring) has further deepened the Lions' wounds, with Claye Beams (foot), Josh Green (hamstring), Ash McGrath (calf), Luke McGuane (knee), Daniel Merrett (suspended), Daniel Rich (knee) and Brent Staker (calf) all sidelined.

Trying to put on a brave face post-match, Leppitsch even joked he may have to pull the boots on this week against the side he spent four years at as an assistant coach.

"There has been about 600, 700 games walk out the door in the last two weeks," he said.

After the Tigers, the Lions have St Kilda in Wellington, and then Sydney and Essendon.

Leppitsch (pictured) has at least got the 'injury card'.

Malthouse didn't have Chris Judd (achilles) and Matthew Kreuzer (knee) at his disposal against wooden spoon favourite Melbourne at the MCG - and Jarrad Waite and Jeff Garlett, but only because they were dropped.

But what his side was really missing was any type of spirit, the result leaving Carlton with its worst start to a season since 1989 when it lost the first five.

The Blues have never lost six games in a row to start a season but with the Western Bulldogs and West Coast to play in the next two rounds, there is very chance history will be created in 2014 - in the club's 150th year.

Fortunately for Malthouse, the AFL put a stop to betting on coaches getting the sack back in 2011.

He would not have liked being favourite in that market.


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