While Canberra's four NEAFL teams lost by a combined total of 221 points to Sydney and Queensland sides, Queanbeyan co-coach Josh Bryce felt the gap wasn't that big.
The Tigers lost to Aspley by 50 points at Queanbeyan on Saturday, but if they had kicked straight with the wind it could have been a completely different result than the 15.10 (100) to 6.14 (50) final outcome.
Eastlake coach Anthony Bourke might not agree with Bryce following its 129-point demolition at the hands of Southport at Phillip's Football Park, while Ainslie (one point) and Belconnon (41) lost to Sydney Uni and Sydney Hills Eagles respectively.
Bryce felt the gap between Queanbeyan and Aspley wasn't as bad as it looked. The Tigers kicked 2.12 with the breeze and dominated the opening exchanges of the final quarter while trying to erase a 35-point, three-quarter-time deficit.
But their kicking let them down. To make matters worse, they might lose midfielder Toby Conroy (groin) and Toby Richards (hamstring), adding to their growing injury toll.
"Looking at the game today, we competed and if we had've finished our skills, and if we had've hit our shots on goals, it would've been a lot closer," Bryce said. "Obviously the Brisbane sides are a step above the Canberra sides at the moment, but I don't think they're that far ahead."
Bourke said the Demons were just completely outgunned by the Sharks.
He said his side didn't even look like threatening the scoreboard, as it took until after half-time to get their first goal.
They also took an injury hit with defender Xavier McMahon (knee) and midfielder Chad Gibson (glute) both out of action.
McMahon could miss a month, while Gibson was more a precautionary measure and he could play next weekend.
"The Canberra sides are going to be up against it," Bourke said. "We need to be more competitive and I think we are.
"Queanbeyan showed today you could be, and Ainslie did, but the other results show if we get it wrong against the Queensland sides it gets really ugly, really quickly.
"There's concerns there, but we're under no illusions there's some work to do. We need to bring contested footy to the games, otherwise they'll rip us to shreds."
Eastlake has the chance for redemption against Queanbeyan next week, while Ainslie will host the Greater Western Sydney reserves in an AFL curtain raiser before the Giants-Port Adelaide match. Belconnen will host Sydney Uni.
AT A GLANCE
Sydney Uni 2.2 6.4 9.5 14.7 (91)
Ainslie 4.3 7.6 10.9 13.12 (90)
Goals - Uni: T. Elkington 2, T. Ayton 2, M. Krochmal , J. Monk , J. Derickx , G. Orr , O. Wetzlar , T. Barrett , M. Rawlinson , K. Barnes , R. Bottin-Noonan , M. Powys. Ainslie: N. Paine 5, N. Salter 2, C. Mathis , N. Heyne , R. Tuohey , J. Iudica , S. Ellis , A. Vandenberg.
Best - Uni: M. O'Dwyer, T. Barton, T. Ayton, M. Powys, K. Barnes, M. Rawlinson. Ainslie: D. Walker, A. Harris, L. Highfield, M. Mulroney, S. Ellis, J. Costigan.
Sydney Hills Eagles 5.2 8.6 12.10 16.17 (113)
Belconnen 4.1 7.5 8.6 11.6 (72)
Goals - Eagles: T. Stubbs 3, J. Vlatko 3, M. Eastman 2, M. Weekes , B. McNiece , A. Eckermann , A. McConnell , A. Browning , S. Reed , J. Ferguson , L. Gemmill. Belconnen: T. Adams 3, A. Bennett 2, C. York , L. Austin , J. Taylor , J. Harper , I. Taylor , D. Hector.
Best - Eagles: M. Dragicevic, M. Riseley, T. Stubbs, J. Vlatko, L. Gemmill, A. McConnell. Belconnen: A. Bennett, C. Jansen, L. Austin, N. Collins, D. Hector.
Queanbeyan 2.0 4.7 6.9 6.14 (50)
Aspley 5.2 8.4 12.8 15.10 (100)
Goals - Queanbeyan: J. Atkinson 2, J. Bryce , T. Conroy , J. Robinson , K. Klemke. Aspley: H. Joyce 3, R. Holman 3, C. French 2, J. Turner 2, A. Hughes 2, M. Pettitt , M. Payne , E. Sansbury.
Best - Queanbeyan: D. Smith, J. Atkinson, A. Swan, D. Johnson, L. Power, K. Klemke. Aspley: J. Turner, A. Lucy, R. Thomson, R. Holman, R. Toye.
Eastlake 0.0 0.2 1.8 2.1 (21)
Southport 7.5 11.12 18.15 22.18 (150)
Goals - Eastlake: D. Ryall 2. Southport: K. Geary 4, J. Baxter 4, J. Goldsmith 3, K. Brennan 3, J. Burge 2, E. Mallan 2, B. Wells 2, M. Brewer 2.
Best - Eastlake: K. Mahon, J. Bohm, S. Boden. Southport: K. Geary, M. Collison, M. Brewer, J. Burge, B. Wells, K. Brennan.