After 3 straight wins we came crashing back to earth at the hands of a hungry Bulldog outfit on Sunday. The Doggies were very slick but a few horrendous skills errors and overall lack of ability to execute meant that we never deserved to win. It’s hard to believe we got within 6 points with just a few minutes remaining. It was essentially an elimination final for both teams which unfortunately means we are now only an outside chance to sneak into the finals.
It was an unusual game as the scores were close right throughout but costly misses and turnovers made it feel as if we were never a chance to win. It just goes to show the same few things that has let us down all year let us down again: not being able to hit targets/kick straight and lack of mongrel which once again led to getting smashed in the clearances.
Which brings me to my next point – Cale Hooker. What can I say? His run-up for goal is as awkward as looking up your mates Google search history. Never does he look confident in front of the sticks which probably explains why he tried to play on half a meter out from goal. His marking ability alone has meant I have been a firm believer in him belonging in the forward line but when it comes to Cale I think the Sweeper man said it best – “Get a haircut and learn how to fucking kick”.
Our back 6 were also nowhere near as tight as what they have been and after coming off a few great weeks, the likes of Kelly, McGrath and Gleeson are starting to look a bit weary. With just 4 games to go, I think it would be worth managing their work-load and giving a few of them a spell.
Although I will give credit where credit is due – the Bulldogs were good. Johannisen was allowed to do as he pleased and he did just that. I have been critical of his disposal in the past, but seeing him live in the flesh for the first time, he was silky smooth all day. He was explosive and obviously enjoyed being let off the leash so why we didn’t give him any extra attention like opposition teams have been doing? I have no idea!
If we didn’t know it already when you put the ball in the right spot, big Joe is unstoppable. The loss was hard to swallow but he did provide some very entertaining viewing seeing him in full flight. He is that good it the air, you could just about call every one of his marks before he even took it. The only thing stopping him from being the game’s best forward is his finishing ability. Make no mistake, his 6 goals were brilliant but when he starts kicking 8 goals 2 instead of 6 goals 4, he’ll end up being one of the games greats let alone one of Bombers all-time greats.
To look at the positives, I thought the Bulldogs were just about as good as they could have been and for the Bombers to make the mistakes we did and still get as close as we did, proves that we can be a bloody good team. But we do only have ourselves to blame. If Johannisen was shut down we win, if we kicked a little straighter we win, if we were just a little cleaner with our disposal we win and if we win the clearances, we win – put them all together and we thump last year’s premiers.