Round 18 – Essendon v Western Bulldogs: Bombers listless against rampaging Bulldogs

The Bombers were home again under the roof at Etihad Stadium to take on the Bulldogs on Sunday Afternoon. This was going to be another tough game for the young Bomber outfit, as they were coming up against a much improved Bulldogs side that were on their way to play finals this year. The Bombers were still in with a shot though if they brought that pressure that they have been showing the last few weeks.


This pressure and intent was nowhere to be seen however, as the Bombers went down by 87 points in a disappointing and lifeless performance against a rampaging Bulldogs outfit.


The game got underway with the Bombers knowing that they had to get off to a good start and take their chances, as they knew the Bulldogs would punish them if those chances weren’t taken. It was a tight game early as no side was able to kick a goal and both defences were on top. It wasn’t until halfway through the first quarter that the first goal of the game was kicked by the Bulldogs. This was after the Bombers had a string of inside 50’s and goal opportunities. This was the only goal of the first quarter as both sides defences were on top. Both sides did have plenty of opportunities to score in the first quarter, they just weren’t taken. So at quarter time the Bulldogs were up by 4, 8 to 4.


As the second quarter began, the Bombers needed to start converting their opportunities otherwise, if the Bulldogs started to get going, the game could get away from them. This is exactly what happened as the Bulldogs got four unanswered goals at the start of the second quarter to blow the margin out to 30 points. The Bulldogs were on top and the Bombers looked like they had no answers. It took until the 16th minute mark of the second to get their first goal, after a kick in turnover. This didn’t do much as the Bulldogs continued on their merry way and kicked a further three goals to blow the game apart and the margin out to 44 points. The Bulldogs were doing it at ease all over the ground and it was like the confidence the Bombers had gained from the last two weeks had completely disappeared. The Bombers were able to get a late goal in the second quarter through Kyle Langford, after some nice transition play. So as the half time siren went not long after this goal, the Bulldogs were up by 39 and all over the Bombers, it was 8.8 to 2.5.


The third quarter began and after a tight opening few minutes the Bulldogs switched into gear and with a couple of goals had extended their margin out to 55 points.  Even though the half time outcome wasn’t looking good for the Bombers, these two goals put the game result beyond doubt. With the result being clearly decided, the game became about how much the Bulldogs were going to win by. This was due to the fact that the Bombers looked listless and the Bulldogs were kicking goals with ease. There was nothing really to cheer about for the Bombers as there were only two goals kicked amongst the seven by the Bulldogs. So as the three quarter time siren went, the Bulldogs were dominating the lifeless Bombers and led by 70 points; it was ugly reading for the Bombers as the score at the final break was 15.11 to 4.7.


As the last quarter began, the Bulldogs were looking to continue on their performance from the third, to see how far they could extend the margin and with that see what percentage boost they could get. From the Bombers point of view it was all about pride and to bring some respectability to the score. The Bombers did kick the first of the final term through Joe Daniher, then the game became a game of circle work as the sting had well and truly gone out of the game. The Bulldogs did however get four goals in last term to get the margin out to 87 points and rub more salt into the wounds of the Bombers. The final siren went and the Bombers had been smashed by 87 points. This margin could have been a lot more considering the dominance the Bulldogs had over the Bombers. The final score was 19.13 to 5.10.


This was the third loss in a row to the Bombers and perhaps this was the most disappointing of the three as they had been taking steps in the right direction and this performance took them a step backwards. There was no life in the Bombers throughout the whole game. This was evident throughout the game as there was no pressure on the Bulldogs players, as they were able to move the ball from one end to another and out of the middle with ease. This also further puts the heat on to James Hird as it was their 8th loss in 9 games and another listless performance. With another tough game coming up next week against the Giants, the Bombers would be hoping to put together a much better performance otherwise it could end up in another thrashing.

About Nick Weidmann

Former Honours student in Journalism at the University of Tasmania and passionate Essendon supporter

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