After a promising showing last week against the Blues, it was a shocking return to reality for the young and inexperienced Bombers this week, getting smashed by Geelong in 40 degree heat in Shepparton.
From very early on it appeared that this strong Geelong outfit was a class or two above the Bombers, and it started to show on the scoreboard very quickly. Patrick Dangerfield was everywhere (24 touches, 14 of them contested) while Mitch Duncan and Josh Caddy ran rings around the Essendon players in the first half. The Geelong backline of Taylor, Lonergan, Henderson and Kolodjashnij stopped virtually every entry that came into the Bombers forward 50, and kept them goaless until the third quarter. Nakia Cockatoo also gave just a bit more of glimpse of his seemingly endless potential.
For the Bombers, there really weren’t too many winners. Rookie Anthony Mcdonald-Tippungwuti continued to build his cult following at Essendon, as ‘Tippa’ (or ‘Walla’ as he is known) did no harm to chances of getting a game round 1. Kyle Langford showed some real promise in close and top-up player Matt Dea looked promising.
In the end, with the already weakened Bombers resting Goddard, Zaharakis, Zach Merrett, Daniher, Crowley, Kelly and Stokes, and the cats almost being full strength, it was the only result that could possibly happen.
While they had no opposition, the Cats – structurally – looked pretty impressive, and should be pushing for finals again this year I’d think.