Dons go to a new low with defeat
IF LAST week was quicksand, this is a sinkhole for the Bombers. Bereft of confidence, this team – that was supposed to contend for finals – fell 13 points short of Essendon’s season and is on life support.
Carlton might have had its worst start to a season in history as it continues its rebuilding process, but the Blues’ first win finally came in an ugly affair between traditional rivals and in the traditional timeslot at the home of football.
But this one was more about Essendon, which has simply lost its way.
Ed Curnow did a number on Bombers ballwinner Zach Merrett, Jed Lamb hardly left Brendon Goddard alone early in a targeted attack of annoyance – and it appeared to work, with the veteran midfielder stopped in his tracks with all the pushing and shoving of a mosh pit.
But it was the Bombers’ delivery that let them down the most.
Forwards clearly lacked confidence hunting the ball – and why wouldn’t they, with the way it was often sent inside 50?
Long, high, sometimes without what appeared to even be a glance.
Orazio Fantasia was a welcome addition in his return from injury, but couldn’t do it on his own.
After eight weeks, the Bombers are still yet to win a third quarter. Worsfold joked that “some players will have nightmares, they’ll hear sirens, wake up in sweats”.
But this nightmare is recurring and no matter what they say, cannot be ignored.
Matthew Kreuzer showed exactly what is required from a ruck. And as for Patrick Cripps, well, there was more that makes the greats sit back in awe.
“He’s a freak,” Wayne Carey declared at one stage.
While that duo send hearts racing, the Bombers are in need of football’s equivalent of a defibrillator.
There is a pulse. But boy, it is faint.