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POSTGAME: Rd 15 vs Essendon



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In a strange way, that match was encouraging in three ways.

The first reason it was encouraging was that we went back to winning the Melbourne way. It was a consistent four quarter effort that wore away at our opposition; the brand of steadytime football that has been so encouraging. They didn't get a run on at any stage of the match (though they got a lot closer than I would have liked, but I also expected them to run us close). It was always one goal, then we'd clog play up. Anything they got was attained the hard way.

The second reason it was encouraging was that we can definitely improve on that. Our frontal pressure and ability to maintain shape and jam up the corridor with our whole field defense was infinitely better than last week. That being said, our ability to hit leads and finish also needs work, but even that was better. I counted three times this game when I saw a player with heat being put on them in our forward 50 who then chip kicked to a bloke in space in the forward fifty. Against Collingwood, I counted one in the first 3 minutes (Fritsch to Nibbler) and it seemed from that point on we were more interested in kicking goal of the year or getting in the way of each others leads. The presence of mind displayed was better. The finishing and connection early just needed work.

The third reason was the after match reaction. That was the most restrained version of the Grand Old Flag I believe I have ever heard. No yahooing, Gus acting as a chorus leader, or hugging and backslapping. It was get in, get out and get ready for next week. Jake Lever's message of us just having a good platform leading into the finals, but nothing more than that must have sunk in. Wins like this help, but they aren't cause to celebrate disproportionately. They are merely another step on the way to hopefully something bigger.

The smaller, 2 tall forward line experiment with Dogga as the rotating ruck might need one more week to see if it is worth persisting with. If we are still struggling to get decent connection, then it probably is wiser to bring back BBB. Tomald isn't really a lead up full forward, more an aerobic machine who can push up the ground and mark when needed. I get the feeling we need a target who stays mostly within the forward fifty to give our forward line the je ne sais quoi to make us multipronged and dangerous.

As has been noted, the umpiring was deplorable. There were two forward fifty holding the ball decisions that weren't called for them, and if I were an Essendon supporter, I would be in my rights to be dirty. Mind you, they mostly whinged about everything, but  those two decisions were ridiculous and could have cost them the game.

I go into the GWS game not particularly confident, but feeling much better this week. 

Edited by Colin B. Flaubert
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1 minute ago, 4_Kent_Watts said:

 They never give me the [censored] unlike my Collingfilth boss who's gone on all week. Looking Forward to  Monday. I'm sure his Gob will be sewn  shut losing you Freo today. Mutt.

Yeah I'd be wiring that pie hole air tight if I were them!

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Essendon fans booing Hibbo says everything you need to know about what a classless bunch of inbreeds they are. 
You injected the man with god knows what and you have the nerve to boo him for leaving your cheating [censored]? Pathetic. 

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46 minutes ago, CYB said:

Yes we have defensive system which is great and allowed us to strangle and absorb pressure. That is what won us the game again. No doubt. However if we are off just one percent , we’ll we have seen what happens there. 

If you saw the Dons stoppage and contest setups a lot of their players were outside and allowed them to walk out of the contest too easily. You need to torch sides that take such an aggressive setup yet we did not. Do that against a potent forward line like the Eagles, Port or Geelong and no system will save you. 

Happy with 12-2 but we have a really tough draw coming up and need to start finding some good form to take into finals. 

See, I reckon their stoppage set ups weren't aggressive at all. They held their outside width a lot better than us and we found our mids often going for the same ball and not trusting their team mates. Old Melbourne if you like.

And we're better than the Eagles and Geelong. Port have beaten Sydney and no one else. They should not even be in the conversation.

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1 hour ago, DeeZee said:

Essendon supporters are the biggest whingers on the planet .

Feels so good to beat them.

This.  Plus add the Essendon players to that. 

The ump was heard saying to the Essendon player "stop shouting at me".

Much prefer the culture Goodie has developed. Also means we are professional and aren't playing on emotion.

Essendon, Richmond, Brisbane, Geelong - they're all insufferable.

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Was at the game. None of the comments here dissing the Essendon supporters is unfair. They are/were ABSOLUTELY FERAL! I knew this about them going in (there’s a reason I never got taken to Windy Hill as a boy), but somehow forgot….COVID memory weirdness maybe. No doubt the most bizarrely aggressive/aggrieved/irrational supporter group going around…..still!
Good that we won, ugly and all that, but we’re simply going nowhere in finals if the current attacking/goal scoring dysfunction isn’t sorted. At the moment, our defence alone is what’s winning us games, and that’s not going to be enough at the pointy end, I don’t care how good it is. The reason we’re not having any ‘big’ wins, is because we just don’t have the scoring capability to put teams to the sword. Add to this that our disposal efficiency/skill level has dropped away noticeably (includes set shot inaccuracy and distance issues), and we need to find better, sharper, fresher form in general.
The good thing is we’re still on top and have 8 more games to do so. Without it however, we’re not getting anywhere near the silverware. 
Steven May and Gus Brayshaw best on by some margin for mine. 

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1 hour ago, Skuit said:

Defence too good.

So odd to be sitting atop the ladder and still waiting for the team to click.

The Roos' defensive ethos was bs. Stemmed the bleeding is all. 

And then Goody came out all guns blazing. 

Spent all our cookies on Lever and May. 

To allow Goody to keep on blazing. Genius.

So satisfying. 

This

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Said few days ago that I honestly don't care how we win games,if it's a slog fest then you take the win and that's what we did.

Every single is bloody crucial and if we want to secure top 2 spot and a home ground at the G.

Well done boys.

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45 minutes ago, titan_uranus said:

This is like the Sydney game.

So many on here were fearful going in. Now that we've won, so many are criticising the win.

Someone said we're being "picked apart". Which is just the most ridiculously bad take from this game you could have. We conceded 8.9.57, so that's 17 scoring shots. That's the second least Essendon's had all season (their lowest was 6.9 against Brisbane) and it's their second lowest score all year (again, Brisbane their lowest).

The main reason this game was close was our forward half inefficiency in the first and third quarters. Had we converted our inside 50s and time in forward half when we were on top, we'd have won by more. Which is a frustrating concept, but one mainly within our control. If TMac, Fritsch and/or Harmes kick even one of their set shot misses late in the third, the oomph could easily have gone out of it for Essendon.

This wasn't our defence, which yet again stood up on the wide expanses of the G. Lever and May were outstanding, just exceptional again. Hunt took AMT out of the game and Salem was strong and rebounded. If you weren't at the game I don't know if it was clear but Brayshaw was brilliant on his wing (as was Langdon but I'm sure he was noticeable on TV). Brayshaw's two-way running was phenomenal.

Oliver's lift in the second quarter helped get us going, and Gawn gave Draper a complete bath in the ruck.

Clearly though the delivery inside 50 and the forwards themselves need work. I felt for most of the game we needed another tall forward. I'm sure we were high on forward half pressure acts but for much of the game I felt we were crying out for someone else to offer a marking option, particularly when TMac was up the ground. 

On the umpiring - the overwhelming majority of the decisions I'm seeing complaints about online, and heard complaints about at the ground, were correct. Stringer hit Jordon in the head late in the second. Harmes didn't have prior and attempted to kick it late in the fourth (which is not HTB). 

These are important wins. They're built off system, and we know it works because 12 times this year our opponent has struggled to score, and that includes the four highest scoring sides other than us we've played (the Dogs, Brisbane, Essendon and Sydney).

Oh, and it's so satisfying beating that mob.

I'm not convinced we need Ben Brown after tonight. If McDonald plays better, he takes heat off Fritsch, who can then hit the scoreboard himself.

I'm not sure our forward half had high pressure acts tonight either. Happy to be corrected, but aside from moments in the first, third and last, I thought Essendon were able to rebound too easily and we let them waltz off half back too many times.

Ben Brown would have been a liability tonight IMO. 

I'm not against us bringing in Brown next week, but I don't think we missed him with Essendon's run and gun half backs. It was the right selection call to go smaller.

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Earlier in the year it started becoming quite noticeable how well our defence was playing as a collective

But there is no denying actual possessions in the back half and the efficiency of those possessions

So tonight (collectively) May, Lever, Salem, Rivers, Hibberd & Hunt had 109 possessions between them. And if we count in Brayshaw who gathers the ball a lot (24 tonight) in the defensive part of the wing that adds up to 133 ... a big number but we're doing that consistently. 

Petty's role down back is almost as a pure stopper so his numbers are nearly always going to be low

Think about years gone by and compare those numbers to the accumulation of numbers in defence this season.  Often quality possessions too (intercept marks, re-gathers, backline teamwork etc)

As Grapeviney said in an above post, other teams are stifled from their own half back line facing our team defence and the actual defence.  Forward entries by the opposition often result in futile exercises

Starts from the forwards applying pressure, then the midfielders and then the 2 lines of defence.  A four pronged strategy

But we've built a wall down back that is quite dependable

Edited by Macca
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50 minutes ago, 4_Kent_Watts said:

I live with Essendon and Carlton supporters. What is the recommendation. They are pretty good blokes tho I must admit. They like the Dees as their second team.

Dees as first team… or move out. 
That’d be my household rule. ?

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1 hour ago, Gorgoroth said:

The druggies booing was on par with the South African noise at the World Cup. 
Seriously what a bunk of Willy Wonkers.

I thought it was great, allowed my kids to fully understand why Essendon are my most hated team. Absolute nuffies, my 8yo just kept saying what a bunch of sooks they are and my 5yo asked me to lift him up at the end of the game so he could tell the Essendon supporters to shut up ?

Scrappy win, we still look slightly off - I wonder if they're going through a block of intense training at the moment to prep them for the back end of the season? They look a bit sluggish, kicks not making distance, pressure not there, a bit of sloppiness in the ball handling. Hopefully they sort it out, 2 games clear on top gives us leeway but we can come back to the pack pretty quickly.

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Hey guys. Post game I have somewhat of a negative outlook based on what I've seen. Happy to be corrected on these points below:

- A complete lack of ability to put teams away. Whenever we are around 4 goals up, 1 goal more and the game is done but no. Every time this season we have had chances to put teams out of reach but we continue to give opposition clubs chance after chance after chance. We froze in the last 15 minutes.

- Goal kicking inaccuracy. Hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless. Harmes, Fritsch, Jackson, the list goes on. If you can't kick straight you shouldn't be in the fwd line. Bottom line.
 

- Forward line sync. It's round 15 and we still have no idea which fwd line works best.

- Oliver's handballs and inability to take the first option and him either turning it over or caught with the ball did my head in ALL night. 

 

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29 minutes ago, A F said:

I'm not convinced we need Ben Brown after tonight. If McDonald plays better, he takes heat off Fritsch, who can then hit the scoreboard himself.

I'm not sure our forward half had high pressure acts tonight either. Happy to be corrected, but aside from moments in the first, third and last, I thought Essendon were able to rebound too easily and we let them waltz off half back too many times.

Ben Brown would have been a liability tonight IMO. 

I'm not against us bringing in Brown next week, but I don't think we missed him with Essendon's run and gun half backs. It was the right selection call to go smaller.

That’s the point tho, Fritsch is on the nose atm. TMac is showing signs of 2020 form and is playing really high up. Brown can compliment both by playing as the leading player out of the square

Edited by Kick_It_To_Pickett
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1 hour ago, low flying Robbo said:

"Stop yelling at me, Devon!"

Was a great effort from Devon. Gave the umpire a piece of his mind, gifted us a goal and when he had a chance to kick one for his own team, made a dogs breakfast of it. 

Fancy trying to talk to the umpire. You might as well talk to the cat !!

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1 minute ago, A F said:

I'm not convinced we need Ben Brown after tonight. If McDonald plays better, he takes heat off Fritsch, who can then hit the scoreboard himself.

I'm not sure our forward half had high pressure acts tonight either. Happy to be corrected, but aside from moments in the first, third and last, I thought Essendon were able to rebound too easily and we let them waltz off half back too many times.

Ben Brown would have been a liability tonight IMO. 

I'm not against us bringing in Brown next week, but I don't think we missed him with Essendon's run and gun half backs. It was the right selection call to go smaller.

Not sure I agree about the extra tall issue, because too often tonight we were kicking to horrible height disadvantages in the forward fifty. We just ‘looked’ short up front. Luke Jackson, for all his impressive work and star quality, doesn’t yet have the forward craft to be an effective second tall. The worry, as you say, is that BBB or the Weid do nothing for stopping easier exits, and I agree, too often tonight they had the ball outside our attacking fifty before we applied effective pressure. Where that’s gone since the Bulldogs game, who knows? 

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13 minutes ago, Jaded said:

Essendon fans booing Hibbo says everything you need to know about what a classless bunch of inbreeds they are. 
You injected the man with god knows what and you have the nerve to boo him for leaving your cheating [censored]? Pathetic. 

I'm glad someone else said it, for some reason that really got under my skin. felt sorry for the bloke, he didn't deserve it at all.

Hibbo can only be happy to be out of that drug infested ****ehole. 

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5 minutes ago, Dr. Gonzo said:

 

Scrappy win, we still look slightly off - I wonder if they're going through a block of intense training at the moment to prep them for the back end of the season? They look a bit sluggish, kicks not making distance, pressure not there, a bit of sloppiness in the ball handling. 

I wondered exactly the same thing.

And I suspect this is actually very likely to be the case. It is what teams in flag contention do if they can.

There is no other point in tbe season where it is possible to put significant training loads into the players.

I reckon they dialled up the loads after the lions game and right up to this game.

And from this point it is all about maintenance and being cherry ripe for finals.

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The issues that stood out tonight and left me gobsmacked

1. Set shots! We not only missed but often couldn't make the distance from inside 50. It's not little league for goodness sake.

2. Twice we got warned for not having 6-6-6 with that last one busting the momentum from Sparrow's goal. What on earth was Kossie doing sprinting of for so late. His replacement was never going to be in place in time. That could cost a final. Who made that decision

3. When you take a mark 15 metres out why do you try and dribble kick it through on your wrong foot and stuff it up.
Jason Dunstall's head will explode on Bounce tomorrow night when he shows that and goes of his nut. Jackson what were you thinking.

4. Why did Clarrie go back to hand balling so often? Usually to someone in a worse position. 

5. If you set up with a small forward line and lower your eyes you have to hit your targets. So many opportunities were created but missed the target by metres, or to nobody. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Tom Dyson said:

I'm glad someone else said it, for some reason that really got under my skin. felt sorry for the bloke, he didn't deserve it at all.

Hibbo can only be happy to be out of that drug infested ****ehole. 

I liked when they also booed Fritta because he chased a bloke who have zero awareness where they 30 foot steel post was placed. Supposedly it was his fault he ran into the post

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1 hour ago, The heart beats true said:

Bombers fans on Twitter calling for an inquiry into umpiring.

Couldn’t agree more. Let’s begin with the round 10 Crows game shall we?

There should be an inquiry on Twitter as to how so many Essendon supporters got into the ground......and why they should ever be allowed back??!

Seriously...you think Covid is a bad virus??....I wouldnt want to catch whatever it is theyve got !

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2 hours ago, ProperDee said:

Young Kozzie needs to be told that every time he touches the ball it doesn’t need to be a highlights reel play. Sometimes just doing the simple things gets the job done.

Once again, far too many hit and hope/Hollywood handballs from players when laying the boot into the ball is a better option.

I wasn't gonna go into this until another time but oliver was really frustrating tonight, not taking first options, running forward then stopping and going backwards, lairising.

Our inside 50s were deplorable especially in the first half as well - having said that nail some of those set shots we missed and we would've been up by 7 goals at 3/4 time

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2 minutes ago, binman said:

I wondered exactly the same thing.

And I suspect this is actually very likely to be the case. It is what teams in flag contention do if they can.

There is no other point in tbe season where it is possible to put significant training loads into the players.

I reckon they dialled up the loads after the lions game and right up to this game.

And from this point it is all about maintenance and being cherry ripe for finals.

Hope so, but we can only speculate. If not the case, best we can hope for is that we’re just having the inevitable form slump. Otherwise, it’s a worry.

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