Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says the Demons can still book an AFL finals berth despite their costly slip-up against Sydney in Cairns.
The young Swans entered Thursday's clash placed 16th on the ladder but outworked the Demons, who blew a golden opportunity to consolidate their top-eight spot.
Melbourne's sluggish first half, which saw them trail by 28 points at the main break, could derail their bid for just their second finals appearance in 14 seasons.
Goodwin blasted his team's showing, describing their finishing at goal as not at AFL standard, but believes they are still good enough.
"I think we're still right in the mix, but we've got to play better," he said.
"We can't have games, or halves where it's (effort) non-existent.
"We had a half that wasn't to the (AFL) level.
"There's stll plenty to play for in this season but that was far from the footy we need to play and far from a team that's going to really challenge.
"It's more frustration, it's not a shock.
"This competition is tough and you've got to be on all the time to perform.
"We've got to mature."
Melbourne will start favourites in their next game against Fremantle on Monday night, but it will be their final two home-and-away clashes against Greater Western Sydney and Essendon that will decide their finals fate.
The Giants took Melbourne's spot in the top eight after a come-from-behind victory over Carlton on Thursday night.