Thought Ham was about our best, based on what I saw.
13.16 94 def. 7.10 52
Mynott 21 & 3 goals
Clarke 18 (15 handballs & 8 tackles)
Mozzie 11 & 6 tackles
Draper had 8 disposals until half time
Thought the VFL boys helped drive us to a win, in a really good team effort with few standouts. Just everyone put their head over it with no silly stuff, whilst Geelong tried to much around heaps and fumbled and their delivery forward was terrible. Berry provided a good target up forward, Hocking as per usual slips in for goals and is the hardnut up forward and has great composure. Lindt could have had a day out but kicked 0.6 but still looked very promising, McKenna is a big body whilst the usual crew in Heppell, Younan and Sibbald who was class up forward provided well.
Ham was BOG for us imo, attacked the ball hard and was composed with the ball, I really like what I see from him. Mynott was good too and got better as the game wore on, got into some good spots forward and sealed some good goals, also got a bit of the ball in the last too. Clarke was the usual Clarke. Hard and tackles well, only 3 kicks and I reckon 2 were iffy, but he had a good game overall. Mozzie buzzed around as per usual, kicked a class goal on the run and tackled well which should have won him more frees. Seemed to gas a bit as the game wore on.
Big key to the game for me was how well our backs played and taking our chances. They had a ton more ball to half time but we just used the ball better and were cleaner for the most part. Hartley was really good down back. Zerk was OK and a bit hit and miss and didn’t take his marks clean. Dea competed well I thought defensively all game too.
On the downside Begley was invisible for most the day and it would have been his worst for the year. Houlihan did nothing apart from one good mark forward and Draper got injured at half time, no idea on the status. Good win.
Hartley would be hoping he could play on Zac Smith every week.
Long - had a lot of it from defence (19 counts as a lot in the VFL this year) and only late in the game did he start doing his usual stuff-ups. Had his hair down again.
Hartley - fantastic game at full-back, including 9 rebound fifties.
Dea - grew into the game, some nice intercepts and quality disposals.
B. Zerk-Thatcher - badly out of form, but still at it. So many times he got to the right spot and then the ball went through his hands.
Ham - 21 disposals including 5 inside fifties
Clarke - 3 kicks and 15 handballs is unbalanced, but 8 tackles and he is very good at getting the ball out to advantage even when he’s being tackled at the time.
Lazzaro - very slow start, and only 11 disposals. Was thrown forward in the second half when we were under-sized and was very dangerous there.
Houlahan - I was trying to Watch him but kept forgetting he existed. Should have had two or three goals from his opportunities, instead of 0.3
Gown - his last three weeks have been 7, 3 and 6 disposals. But I still saw a bit to like today: that six included four marks where he’d done Brown-like work to make it happen.
Trent “no tricks” Mynott - says for you to SHUT UP. Kicks three goals in the third quarter to seal the game.
Begley - was not good.
Sibbald - got torched in the ruck, but did very well as full-forward, apart from some early fumbles and missed shots.
Younan - when Geelong made what posed as a comeback, he shut them down. Had a ten minute stretch where he smashed them. Half-back and a bit of mid, never thought he had the legs to do this.
Draper - apparently is not “dead”. Might be undead. Right knee query.
Berry - best game he’s had with us. Started in the middle and I thought that odd, but he did well there with 21 disposals and kicked 2.2 while forward as well.
HepA - half-back and mid. 15 disposals and 7 tackles, and quite a few inspirational moments.
Hocking - quietly got 16, 2 goals, and 6 tackles. EDIT: watching replay, he was huge in that first quarter.
McKenna - best bit was the Cat trying to sling-tackle him and being told they were weak as urine as McKenna stood tall. 17 and 6 tackles. Another nice bit halfway through the second quarter where a Cat threatened to hit a prone Mo22ie; he didn’t but McKenna went straight in to make sure he NEVER thought of that again.
McQueen - been stranded as a forward this year
Mosquito - long periods when he didn’t show up, but when on the ball he stays in it. Kept calm to convert a big run into a goal. 6 tackles
Read - is a big slightly unco boy, managed to get a few touches around the ground. Not a star, and just 7 hit-outs.
Tynan - just call him “Tiny”. Skinny arms and a helmet, threw himself into it regardless and collected 18 disposals on debut.
Landt - did some special stuff (great contested marking) but only made 0.3 out of it.
We’re just working really well as a team. So efficient, even when our structure is thrown off (out Smack, out LAV, out Francis, out Draper, cometh Sibbald). The backline continues to shut down teams, we’ve got great depth there – have conceded just 24, 40, 65 and 52 points this year.
But we may have to wait till round 8 before we play a team actually in form (Richmond).
Geelong were very conservative; they led all stats at half-time but that came from kicking the ball around very very slowly.
What started as a scrappy game filled with turnovers eventuated to a dominant display as the Bombers stormed home 13.16 (94) to 7.10 (52).
Geelong managed to kick the opening goal eight minutes into the first term, but it was all Essendon after that with the next four goals going the Bombers’ way.
One of these came from a perfectly executed handball chain, starting with skipper Aaron Heppell and finishing with a Wilson Berry major.
Both sides struggled to gain clean possession of the footy in the second term, with the first major scored 17 minutes in via Edyn Sibbald.
The second half was ultimately the game-changer – the Bombers’ trademark outside run becoming instrumental to the six-to-three goal term, helped by three third-quarter goals to Trent Mynott .
The final term was much the same as the third, barring a few misses on goal which could have pushed Essendon’s lead out further.
Geelong clawed back to a six-goal deficit late in the game, but by this stage the Bombers had done more than enough to secure the win.
In his standout game, Berry finished with two goals, four marks and an equal team-high 21 disposals.
Mynott (21 and three goals) and Brayden Ham (21 and a goal) were impactful, backing up their impressive starts to 2019.
Michael Hartley (16 disposals, five tackles) and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (15 disposals) were important to Essendon’s back six, producing goal-saving marks throughout the match.
Senior coach Dan Jordan was pleased with his side’s response to the contest.
“We were particularly challenged early in this game, whereas in previous games we probably got off to a hot start,” Jordan said post-match.
“It was good for the boys to find their feet and work their way into the game late into the first quarter when we started to get our noses in front.
“We were then challenged in the second quarter as well, but our defence held up and turned what potentially could have been five or six Geelong goals into just the one.
“We know that when we play good sides there will be a bit of an arm-wrestle at times, so it’s important not to shy away from our structures and the way that we want to play.
“As long as we play the way that we want to, I feel we can gradually wear some sides down and get the edge (over the opposition).”
Jordan also spoke highly of the team’s selflessness and the ability of the side’s new inclusions to fit into the side seamlessly, including key tall Liam Read who led the way in the ruck in the second half following Sam Draper’s withdrawal midway through the contest.
“Draper was on managed minutes, so he was always only going to play one half, but it was a bit of a baptism of fire for Read who (went from) playing local footy with Riddell last year, to playing his first game on the MCG against some AFL-quality ruckmen.
“It was great for (both in their first game) to have a win first up – it’s really important for those guys that come in to play their role, which gives the whole group confidence in anyone who comes in.”
Next Saturday sees the Bombers return home to Windy Hill for a preliminary final re-match against Casey.
“We (were knocked out of finals) by Casey last year – they’re always a quality outfit so it’s going to be another challenge for us next week,” Jordan said.
“At the moment we have quite an even contribution from different players stepping up at different times, and different players all playing some selfless roles for the team.
“As long as we continue in that fashion, hopefully we can challenge any side.”
The first bounce will be at 2pm on Saturday, May 11, after the VFLW season opener at 11:30am.
Essendon 4.1 5.5 11.8 13.16 (94)
Geelong 1.4 2.7 5.9 7.10 (52)
Goals: Mynott 3, Berry, Hocking, Sibbald 2, Ham, Gown, Mosquito, Lazzaro
Brooke Varney is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.
The ‘traveller’ was terrific today, plays with a lot of passion & intensity.
Great comeback considering he copped a nasty concussion a few weeks ago
“The drought is having an effect on bee numbers”
Who is the traveller?
Agree, I thought Abbott had the best of their contest, much like Campbell did in the North game. Which isn’t surprising, considering they are both 30yo ruckman who have been elite VFL ruckman and serviceable in AFL for years.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Sammy is just a 20yo kid.
After their respective performances today you’d think Baguley would make way for Mynott.
The Traveller Wil Berry… we’ll wait for you to get it.
Is Draper ok?
It took me till the first VFL pre-season match to make that call. SHAME.
Geelong kicked two in rapid succession three times, but we said “nope” and continued on our steady climb.
Watched the part again when Draper went down. When he hit the ground his knee buckled. You can see it at top of screen. About 30 seconds later made it to another ruck contest and knee just gave way. He then came off. I have grave concerns
To be more precise, the right knee bent inwards a very tiny bit when he landed, for one frame.
Sorry to interrupt the Draper anxiety, but I loved that these guys got to play at the 'G.
Must have been a thrill for some of them.
It’s a shame it doesn’t happen more often.
Draper lay down near the bench for about 10 minutes at half time while a doctor and physio each put him through multiple tests, including Lachman ( ACL) test, and lateral stability tests for medial and lateral collateral ligaments , also checked patellar tendons and for any joint line tenderness indicating meniscus injury etc With tests on BOTH knees but focussed on the right. Basically they ran through a full knee examination for all to see. He had a run , more examinations and walked across the ground to the change rooms without any sign of a limp. I guess we will hear tomorrow after they get the result of scans and see how he pulls up.