VFL - Semi Final vs Tigers @ Port Melbourne, 12:40pm Saturday 8 September 2018 - easy


Ok I am having fingers and toes crossed that we can try and get our hands on Nick Hind in this years draft…wow


From my observation of Francis in the vfl, he tries a bit too hard to do the special things (albeit with a fair degree of success). He takes risks that are not always going to pay off, trying to be creative. He is going to mess up quite a few times (eg going for Marks when he should punch, trying to hit the impossible target in the corridor etc) until he learns when to take a risk and when to be conservative. He will become a rounded player in due course, but expect a few clanger along the way.


If I could be s’bold, I would disagree with this


GCongrats to you and the whole organisation. Pls be sure to pass on the supporters’ admiration and support to all the players and support staff.

Edit- on rereading that, there is more support going on than a berlei d cup.


Alex has come out with fighting fury


I’ll take Seb Ross.


I’m with you Alex, tell em’ to nick off


I think he has always had this in his game, certainly played some games like this last year that I watched and from what I read throughout the U18s. Certainly needs to find some balance. Everything he touched today he torched.


With Francis it worries me that when he’s not playing well he feels the need to do something amazing to bust the game open and make up for the poor performance. It just seems to compound the bad game. Where as if he just started to do the little things well and build back into the game bit by bit might be more successful.


pretty sure @Humble_Minion wrote a big post back before Francis was drafted about this side of his game. ie. he’s basically a confidence player and I think HM said it seemed like if he started a day badly, he often struggled to turn it around


That was certainly my impression as a junior. If he’s getting beaten by his direct opponent, he should be moved quickly cos his head drops.


That is sensational! Thanks for posting; I had not seen it before.


Anyone know if there is a replay that can be viewed outside of Australia?


Frang is only just 21. With a bit more maturity he should be able to smooth this out. It just needs time and understanding. Even Buddy can be beaten badly. It certainly stops him strutting on the day, but might not stop him from kicking a bag the following week.


Coming up against minor premier Richmond, the Bombers’ underdog status was only enhanced by the loss of key forward Alex Boyse and midfielder Joe Harrison to shoulder injuries in the first half.

However, Essendon found the belief to win against the odds in an encounter that was as demanding mentally as it was physically. 19-year-old Harrison returned to not only play a role for his side but inspire his teammates with his courage in the face of pain.

The lead changed hands for the tenth time when Nick Hind burst through the centre of the ground to take two bounces, avoid a tackle and hit the hands of James Stewart with just over a minute remaining in the final quarter.

With a crowd of well over 4,000 in hysterics, the tall forward calmly kicked his second goal to give the Bombers the upper hand at the death, 10.9 (69) to 9.10 (64).

From the outset, the semi-final was fought in the trenches as coast-to-coast goals were eschewed for relentless ground level intensity by both sides.

Kobe Mutch and Aaron Heppell rose to the occasion as the pair revelled in the high stakes of a semi-final atmosphere at Stannards Stadium, aided by another tremendous four-quarter performance from ruckman Sam Draper against Tiger pair Ivan Soldo and Callum Coleman-Jones.

While the match featured all the hallmarks of the minor premiers’ game-style such as relentless contested pressure and conversions coming directly from stoppages, the Bombers proved their composure in congestion.

A pair of goals to Danny Younan saw Essendon take a narrow half-time lead despite at one stage being down to one rotation on the interchange bench.

After his match-winning four-goal final quarter in the elimination final, Josh Green again stepped up on the big stage with a pair of third-quarter goals as the dangerous small forward snaffled two chances at ground level (incredibly, Green’s second goal ten minutes in gave Essendon the highest lead of the match – a mere 13 points).

However, the minor premiers were in no mood to fall out of the finals in straight sets. Although Bombers Jordan Ridley, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Michael Hartley played with aplomb in defence, goals to Connor Menadue and Callum Moore slashed the Essendon lead to the narrowest of margins at three quarter time.

With the season on the line for both teams, the first goal of the last was crucial. The red and black broke the deadlock with Jackson Merrett’s terrific run-down in the forward pocket and subsequent 50-metre penalty.

Richmond stole the lead twice in the final quarter on the back of goals from Menadue and Moore but the unfancied Bombers had the answer at every turn.

Stewart’s pair of final-quarter goals was compounded by his work to provide targets and mark at the top of the forward line.

Coach Dan Jordan was unreservedly proud of what his charges had achieved on the big stage against strong opposition.

“We ask everyone to play their role and we had a bit of a discussion this week about what it takes to win finals,” Jordan said.

“What it takes is 23 guys knowing their role. It’s not about individual brilliance, although there are moments of that, it’s about the guys playing together and achieving something collectively and to do that, you need 23 spokes in the wheel.

“I was really proud of the way we stuck at it even when we lost a few soldiers.”

“It was the belief in the boys,” he said, reflecting on what separated Essendon from victory and defeat in the dying stages.

“Richmond came really hard at us, as we knew they were going to, but we stuck fat, we didn’t panic, we didn’t try to defend the game, we tried to win the game.

“They believed, particularly in that last four or five minutes when we had to take the game on. They executed it brilliantly and were brave.”

The victory sets up a preliminary final meet with the Casey Demons, who finished second on the ladder and defeated the Bombers narrowly in the home and away season.

“They’re a good side. The result last week of them beating Geelong by 90 points is testament to that.

“We’ll have to get back to the drawing board and adjust and come up with some strategy that gives us a chance to beat them.

“But, the belief and momentum in our group at the moment is huge. If we keep that belief and momentum up, there’s no reason we can’t beat anyone.”

While the injuries sustained against the Tigers were doubtless blows to the Bombers, Jordan took the time to highlight the courage shown under fire, particularly by Harrison.

“It was his sixth game. He came in, straight in the midfield against a really strong midfield, was competing really well.

“He went back out there, which is a huge testament to his character, his resilience and his courage. For Joey to get back out there and give us a number and compete, I take my hat off to him.”

ESSENDON 2.3 5.4 7.7 10.9 (69)
RICHMOND 2.1 4.3 7.6 9.10 (64)

Essendon – Green 3, Stewart 2, Younan 2, Heppell, McNiece, Merrett
Richmond – Moore 2, Menadue 2, Thompson 2, Stengle, Miles, Markov

Ridley, Heppell, Stewart, Mutch, Hartley, Zerk-Thatcher


Thanks, I just spat my coffee across the room laughing.


And if we get up it will invoke the pattern of every Essendon Reserve/VFL premiership since 1983 preceding every Seniors/AFL premiership since 1984.


Why can’t we have our VFL players as part of our academy. We found them, we developed them…


Francis was signing a few autographs/taking pics with people after the siren. Looks like a shy kid from what I saw, just a random musing observation.

Didnt see any Dons AFL players there yesterday with Cotchin, Riewoldt, Hardwick there for the Tigers.

Am assuming they’re all on their off season holidays unless I missed them.


Zaka was there