Round 18 – Essendon v Western Bulldogs: Taking the Crameri Out For a Spin

Essendon versus Western Bulldogs

3.20 pm, Sunday, 2nd August

Etihad Stadium



As part of my duties as stable-boy for the non-believer, I have to refill the horse-feed barrels.

This involves lumping a bag of oaten-chaff from the station-wagon into a 44 gallon drum. Fortunately all my grunting and straining is well out of site from the young’ns at the produce-store who toss those same bags around like pillows.

The connection with Stewart Crameri and my labours is found in the manufacturer’s name on the bags. ‘ Crameri Stockfeed-Maryborough’ .

So until Crameri’s breakout match yesterday, I thought of him as a solid but stolid performer, more utilitarian and useful for the team compared to Jake Stringer for example who can break open a game with his flair.

To give him a better image than a bag of chaff, I’ve decided he has the perfect name for a car. ‘The Crameri’. Still nothing flashy in style but popular in the suburbs for commuters along with the Commodores and Falcons. Getting the owner from A to B without fuss as Sandy Stone might say.

In fact many of the Bulldog players could be likened to cars. The younger ones are straight out of the showroom and they are performing beautifully along side the vintage-models of The Murphy, The Boyd  and The Morris with his British reliability. There is even an Austin garaged out at Footscray which is still performing well.

Here is a list of some of the vehicles that make up the fleet both imported and local, but now re-badged under the name of Western Bulldogs Motors:

The Stringer:  Muscle Car with the flame decals and musical horn played after each goal.

The Redpath:  Affectionately known as ‘The Woodcutter’ is a FWD ute fitted out for roo-shooting.

The Bontempelli: Classic Italian engineering bringing smooth acceleration through the gears. Introduced last year without a lot of fanfare but has now become the prototype copied by other manufacturers. Made by the same company that produced the very successful Del Santo.

The Dahlhaus: Small car rejected by manufacturers in Geelong as not worth persevering with. They obviously overlooked the manoeuvrability and endurance of this little gem.

The Johannisen: Also called the JJ. Imported from South Africa is a high-powered sports-car with tremendous acceleration and agility in tight situations.

The Caleb: The latest model introduced and now quickly becoming a favourite with the ladies. A micro-mini that comes with the usual air-bags but also has an extra leather cover to protect the head.


So after pumping up the tyres of the Bulldog fleet I just hoped they’d be as good against Essendon as they were against Collingwood.

Essendon had a few quality players returning including Jake Carlilse. The man who kicked seven goals against us last time we met. Essendon had beaten us in the last six matches and head to head it was 94-60 their way. Another Club that had dominated the Bulldogs over the years, so another big hurdle to jump, as it was against Collingwood.

The first quarter was almost a nil-all draw meaning the lowest score at Etihad and consequently the shortest quarter played there. The back-line players were dominating the possessions for both teams and thankfully Crameri kicked at least one goal for the Dogs. If he kicks at least one per quarter he will live up to his reliable tag while the flashier ‘cars’ around him begin to cough and splutter.

In the second quarter Crameri is energetic and seems intent on changing his image and making me regret calling him stolid. Wallis kicks the first goal but Crameri gets the next two. The first one is after a one-handed mark from a ball kicked by Campbell and the second one follows a mark where he cheekily plays on quickly before his opponent can stand the mark. The Crameri Mark 2 might have to be re-badged  as ‘The Lair’ when they bring out the new model next year.

Speaking of lairs, it was Stringer’s quarter in the finish with his three goals. One on the angle which he likes doing and one after a beautiful pass by ‘The Bont’.

The third quarter was another Crameri quarter with another three goals ably assisted by the even more reliable Dickson and Johannisen who hadn’t stopped running all day. While everyone loves the Bulldog goal-kickers, special mention should be made of Shane Biggs on the back-line. He made one blue kicking the ball straight to Stanton who goaled, but for the rest of the match he was outstanding. Cool, calm and collected at all times and one of those rare players that seems to have plenty of time and doesn’t often get tackled. If he was a car they would probably nick-name him ‘The Ronnie’, because when he’s on the move, no-one can catch up to him.

The last quarter goals by the Bulldogs adding to their tally meant their percentage was higher than Richmond at the end of the Round and they slipped into fifth place on the ladder. I found out later Luke Beveridge asked for that final quarter effort to move up that one place on the ladder and the man instrumental in making it happen was Caleb Daniel. Two long goals from ‘Celeb’ as he is now known had the female supporters swooning over the fence at their new hero and chanting his name after the final siren.

I was sceptical about Crameri being influential enough to get the Dogs over the line on Sunday because I’d never seen him kick a bag of goals. Thankfully he proved me wrong and his energy and accurate goal-kicking throughout the day brought the rest of the team into the game. Success plus confidence breeds even more success.

The new ‘Crameri’ might become a real collector’s item for the present owners. When their kids ask if they can take the Crameri for a spin, their fathers will probably arc up and say, ” The Crameri! You’re not takin’ the Crameri!”


Essendon         0 .4  2.5  4.7  5.10   (40)

Bulldogs 1.2 8.8  15.11  19.13 (127)


Essendon:  Stanton, Langford, Hooker, Merrett, Daniher

Bulldogs: Crameri 7, Stringer 4, Dickson 4, Daniel 2, Wallis, Johannisen


Essendon:   Hibberd, Stanton, Hooker, Goddard, Heppell

Bulldogs: Crameri, Wallis, Stringer, Hunter, Dahlhaus, Johannisen, Picken

Umpires:  Bannister, Deboy, Schmitt

Official crowd:  33,466

Our Votes:  3 Crameri (WB) 2 Wallis (WB) 1 Johannisen (WB)




About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.


  1. Bob Speechley says

    You are a bit harsh on Crameri in my opinion. I have watched him closely and reckon he always puts in 100% and has been influential in keeping the ball in our forward half as a result of his pressure on many occasions. He is unselfish and has given away many goals to his teammates. I do agree that Sunday was a superb game for him and I say poetic justice for the Bombers particularly on top of Paddy Ryder the previous game.

  2. The Ayce – rebadged version of the Leyland P76. Small loyal following but no universal appeal

  3. Neil Anderson says

    I’m glad Crameri proved me wrong on Sunday. The multi- pronged attack is working well while we decide if Boyd is ready to return.
    We all wanted The Ace to be the next big thing but he he seems anchored in the reserves at the moment or is he still out at the You Yangs testing ground?
    I was going to mention the Cordy Mark 3 also known as The Zaine looking like a real winner and could be the best model yet.

  4. no, Bob, I’d tagged him as our Dale Thomas until a fortnight ago – form which then blossomed on Sunday.

    Ayce was functional on Sunday in the magoos but he’s headed to Melheim – and will get nothing.

    My son used to call Easton Wood “Hernan” when he had the headband (after soccer star Crespo)…whatever you call it, this model has needed lots of maintenance but the streamlined “Easton” is a classic mover.

    Wally’s turning in to a 120Y.

  5. Much like Monfries, Ryder, Ted Richards and co., Crameri is another who would be very handy at Essendon right now.

    He was never a big marking forward, but his gut-running, chasing, and opportunistic nature always saw him kick a few.

    Was particularly annoying to see him outscore us singlehandedly!

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