We are in the 8!!! You bloody fucking ripper! Although the win on the weekend was not overly convincing, 4 points is 4 points and you would take that as often as you would take a nice cold Milton Mango on a Friday afternoon. There is a long way to go in the season in the grand scheme of things but a win over the North Melbourne reserves is very valuable.
The most pleasing parts of the weekends game?! We finally won the clearances…
The least pleasing part?! We struggled against a team playing for something other than a win and have other priorities on their mind.
Kangaroos were looking ominous right throughout the game and signs weren’t good when Big-not-so-bad-Benny Brown was clunking them and converting from his Brett Lee run up. Neither Hartley or Hurley were able to stop the long rangy forward as he came off the picket-fence and was firing them straight down the middle. But we got the win and are in the eight so let’s look at the positives:
Fantastic Five – Our forward line once again proved its versatility and why it is one of the most dangerous in the competition. Hooker, Fantasia, Stewart, Tipungwuti and Daniher all kicked 2 goals or more and what’s even most pleasing is that Daniher kicked the least amount of points out of the lot which goes to show we aren’t reliant on him ( Stewart only kicked one extra behind).
Cale Hooker was brilliant in the last but make no mistake, our boy Zac Merrett was every bit as crucial… and come Brownlow night the vote card will read: Round 18, Essendon V North Melbourne …3 votes.. Z.Merrett. He had a lazy 33 disposals, 22 of which were uncharacteristically handballs, but our gun midfielder was vital in the middle when the game was there to be won.
Our skipper is gaining momentum and confidence! Although 26 disposals is nothing out of the ordinary for Heppell, he has lacked clean disposal confidence particularly in front of the sticks over the last few weeks. His 2 goals were just as important for him as well as it was for the team. If we are going to make the finals, we need him firing!
We haven’t had a great ability to run out games this year so although it would have been nice to have some breathing space heading into the last, it showed good grit and determination to run over the top of the Kanga’s. The last quarter dominance was largely thanks to a clearance count of 16-1, led by dominance from Belly in the ruck and Merrett, Heppell and Watson in the guts.
We once again lost the inside 50 count, largely thanks to poor disposal which let us down a lot. Not to mention some of the horrendous umpiring decisions but I thought intensity and furiousness was good but the boys need to be better with ball in hand. With the efficiency we have once the ball is inside 50, take care of the rock and get the fucker in there boys!!!
This weekend I leave the comfort of the Queensland weather and head down south to brave the freezing cold, sub-zero, Antarctic-like conditions that is Etihad stadium to get amongst the action as the mighty Dons take on the hungry Dogs. Here’s hoping my 2 from 2 record stays intact for the year and the Bombers walk away with a win and remain a serious contender for September.