Round 4 – Essendon v Port Adelaide: Power supply cut off by Bombers!

What a difference a week can make!


A week ago the Bombers were lamentable against the Bulldogs. John Worsfold suggested it was the worst performance by the team in his time as coach of the club.


So it was with some trepidation I walked from Southbank to Etihad with my daughter, and grandson for the game against Port Adelaide.


Over lunch we had discussed what needed to done by the team to improve upon their  disappointing performances of the past two weeks. Basically, the team had to be in the contest, they needed to be competitive, and importantly, to hold the the ball in the forward line and not let it rebound as easily as has happened previously.


It was obvious from the first moments of the game, this was a different team, not necessarily in personnel but in attitude from the previous two games. The Bombers had come to play!


Intensity was high. There was a desperation to gain possession of the ball, maintaining possession, then doing something positive with it, and moving it on quickly. Opposition players were tackled in numbers, the pressure was relentless.


James Stewart has now become an integral part of the team. His stature as a key forward, not only for the Bombers but within the game, increases with each game, and he is causing headaches for opposition teams. He has very clean hands, taking many one grab marks, and with his Josh Kennedy approach to kicking for goal, has proved to be a reliable and consistent goal kicker. For a big man, he is also very mobile and has very good ground  level skills as well.  He takes much of the pressure away from Joe Daniher. His  marking and goals in the first quarter helped to set the team up for the rest of the game.


New boy Matt Guelfi slotted into the team nicely. He has the looks of a Jack Zieball about him. In time, I can see him  playing a similar role of that buffeting, bullocking strong bodied mid-field type that  Zieball plays. 


Zach Merrett was back to the form supporters come to expect of him. Grandson Ben was pleased to see his favourite player doing so well and cheered loudly each time Zach got the ball.


Heppell, Smith and Parish all did their bit through the middle, getting and delivering a lot of the ball, and David Myers probably had his best game for some time, his two goals an added bonus for the team.


With Hooker back in defence gave Hurley the extra confidence to play his usual attacking game with greater intensity and he set up many of the Bombers forward advances.


Jake Stringer spending more time forward this game took full advantage of the freedom  offered him applying his strength and aggression at the ball to kick four goals, two of them crowd lifting rippers. He is beginning to slot into the team beautifully.


The one slight concern for the team is the continued lack of confidence and form of Joe Daniher. He displays reluctance to set up for goal confidently, an example being the Stevie J shot he used from a set shot 30 metres out on a slight angle which he completely mongreled. However, his two goals late in the games may help to alleviate some of those concerns.


All in all, it was a very good team effort for the whole game and I went home a happy man.


Grandson Ben relived every moment of the game all the way to his home in Barongarook!


Hopefully this will continue.


ESSENDON                  5.2   9.4    12.7   16.10   (106)

PORT ADELAIDE      2.2   4.6      8.8   12.12   (84)



Essendon: Stringer 4, Stewart 3, Daniher 2, Myers 2, Fantasia, Green, Goddard, Baguley, McDonald-Tipungwuti

Port Adelaide: Watts 3, Dixon, Marshall, Westhoff, Boak, S. Gray, Amon, Byrne-Jones, Rockliff, Bonner



Essendon: Hurley, Stringer, Merrett, Heppell, Zaharakis, Hartley, McDonald-Tipungwuti

Port Adelaide: R. Gray, Wines, Polec, Ebert 



Essendon: Brown (calf) replaced in selected side by Hartley, Stewart (rolled ankle), Saad (upper leg)

Port Adelaide: Marshall (concussion), Rockliff (calf)


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Brown, Nicholls, Mollison


Official crowd: 30,900 at Etihad Stadium


My Votes

3: Michael Hurley

2: Zach Merrett

1: Jake Stringer



About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Jeez Col, I didn’t see that performance coming from your Bombers. I read your “glass half full” review/preview last week and thought “tell ‘im ‘es dreamin”. You are obviously a much better judge than me. Has Woosha got you on the Match Committee payroll yet?

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