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Collingwood took away the points in the first games of the 2013 NAB Cup, pipping Essendon by 2 points and the Western Bulldogs by 18. Earlier in the night the Bombers were able to put the controversy of the last two weeks behind them and defeat the Dogs by 26 points.

ESSENDON    1.2.4    1.5.6 (45)  WESTERN BULLDOGS     1.0.3    1.1.4 (19)

A strong second half from Essendon ensured that they were able to come away with the first win of the NAB cup. The Western Bulldogs held on early but could not keep up for the whole match.

Tom Bellchambers opened the scoring a few minutes in with a strong mark and goal, but the Dogs replied quickly with a super goal from Shaun Higgins who made the most of an advantage call from a free kick.

However that was just about all the Dogs could muster in terms of goals for the rest of the game. They were able to hold Essendon to one normal goal plus a super goal from  Kyle Hardingham for the rest of the half.

The second half was all Essendon though as they were able to maintain a lot of possession and a Bulldogs forward structure was nowhere to be seen.

It was the Bombers small men who did the damage on the scoreboard, with Alwyn Davey and Corey Dell’Olio converting on the high number of inside 50’s. Nick Kommer finished off the win with a goal on the siren.

What Essendon Can Take Away

-Brendon Goddard will be a brilliant pickup for the Dons. He had a game high 13 disposals and looked right at home in the red and black. He will enjoy being in a midfield with the likes of Jobe Watson and Brent Stanton  as they will take some pressure off him. The rest of the team will also enjoy his presence, they are already looking to give it to him as often as possible.

– Their defence showed promising signs, Jake Carlisle was excellent across half back taking some good defensive marks. Michael Hibberd also gathered plenty of the ball and could could become a permanent fixture if he can stay  injury free.

What the Western Bulldogs Can Take Away

– The Dogs have picked up some handy players who can become great contributors for them this year. Nick Lower held his own in the midfield with 11 disposals while Brett Goodes, brother of Adam was impressive off the half back and looks like a must have for your fantasy team.

-The Bulldogs really need to find a answer to their problems up forward before the season starts. On two consecutive forward entries, Liam Picken was their only forward inside 50. Although he was trying to shut down Dustin Fletcher, that is no way to run a forward line.

WESTERN BULLDOGS  1.0.5   1.2.10    (31)                 COLLINGWOOD                 0.2.3   0.4.5    (29)

The Western Bulldogs were able to put up a bit more of a fight in their second game of the night but the class of a rusty Collingwood team proved to be the difference.

The Dogs got off to a perfect start with a Daniel Giansiracusa goal straight from the center clearance.  From there the first half was pretty scrappy, the Magpies were taking a while to get into the game while the Bulldogs poor disposal  was hurting them.

Magpie goals came from turnovers, including Brent Macaffer’s first since his ACL, a nice crumbing goal from Jamie Elliot and Quinten Lynch’s first in the black and white. However the Bulldogs matched it with a few of their own includnig one from Troy Dixon to put them up by 2 points at the break.

After the break the Western Bulldogs faded again, after the first goal to Jarrad Grant they began to fall into the same traps of poor disposal and a poor forward line structure.

While Collingwood were not brilliant their talent, exemplified by Dane Swan’s super goal from a perfectly executed boundary throw in ensured that they would take the points.

What The Western Bulldogs Can Take Away

 There were some good signs from some of their youngsters, Lin Jong and Clay Smith were both able to get their hands on plenty of the ball. Jason Johannisen also showed some dash off the half back line. However they all still faced one big problem which is:

-Disposal efficiency. This was terrible for the Bulldogs and not only created goals for the opposition but stopped many of their own chances. They can make life a lot easier for themselves if they can just hit targets.

What Collingwood Can Take Away 

– Collingwood blooded plenty of new faces, most of which will be happy with their performances. The acquisitions from other teams played their roles, Lynch’s goal and set up to Travis Cloke was promising while Clinton Young Seemed to fit in well. Mature age recruit Kyle Martin also gathered plenty of the ball and will vie for a spot it upgraded.

– The Pie’s forward line also seemed to function well, it was at times their downfall last year but at its best it can be unstoppable. Cloke kicked his usual couple while Jamie Elliot provided great crumbing and pressure. Macaffer will also add another Dimension this year.

COLLINGWOOD  1.0.5   1.2.10    (31)                 ESSENDON                 0.2.3   0.4.5    (29)

Collingwood snatched an unlikely victory from Essendon with two goals in the last minute after the Bombers had been in control all game.

The first of the game went to Lewis Jetta with a nice front and center gather and quick finish. The Pies then fired back after a turnover as Ben Sinclair put through a 9 pointer.

From there the game descended into a tough scrap, with both teams having opportunities but neither converting. It took Dyson Heppell to pounce on a loose handball and kick a goal to brake the deadlock.

After half time Essendon turned the screws putting the preassure on the Pies and retaining possession. Jetta kicked his second early and Brendon Goddard’s first goal for the Bombers made it look like the Dons would take out their second win for the night but it wasn’t to be.

With only a minute left and 11 points down Andrew Krakouer, as he always does managed to thread the ball through a pack for a goal. The Magpies won the resulting center clearance only to manage a behind; but the kickout that followed came back with interest as Travis Cloke converted a free kick to take the lead.

Luke Davis had a shot after the siren to win the game, but from 65 meters out he never looked like making the distance.

What Collingwood Can Take Away

-The Pies had a new look ruck combination in the second half of the night consisting of Jarrod Witts and Ben Hudson. Hudson showed that he can be called upon if needed but  Witts was raw and may need some more development. However Hudson’s experience will be  invaluable and Witts can only improve and may become a force if he does.

– The play that will have brought the most joy to Collingwood supporters was Clinton Young’s overlap on the half back line and booming kick right to the Quinten Lynch on the 50m arc. Although Lynch missed, it is plays like that which the Pies will hope to replicate often this year.

What Essendon Can Take Away

-The Bombers showed plenty of resilience after a long preseason. Although they lost against Collingwood the performance in both games was promising despite what they have been through over the last few weeks. That heat will not disappear during the season but they showed that they can deal with it and still play good footy.

-Essendon also had a play that they will hope define their season. Patty Ryder put a perfect tap down the the throat of Goddard who went streaming forward and set up a shot at goal. Again it was only a behind but it is because of that brilliance that the Bombers got Goddard.