Dons go to a new low with de­feat

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - LAU­REN WOOD

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.

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