Game Day Elimination Final 1: Western Bulldogs v Essendon, UTAS Stadium, Sunday August 29, 3.20pm AEST

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May 24, 2007
16,035
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In the guts
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Liverpool FC, Melbourne Storm

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ESSENDON BOMBERS

There haven't been many times in the past few years that we've found ourselves coming into to finals on a decent streak of form; but today we're here on a three-match winning run thanks to an inept showing from Collingwood.
We didn't really need to get out of first gear, as it was clear that Collingwood was just desperate to go on holiday and... stay in their own government-mandated 5km radius for an hour a day.
St Kilda thumping the piss out of Fremantle earlier in the day meant that our place in the finals was assured, but you don't want to head into a final series losing to a basket case like Collingwood.
A six-goal-to-one second term saw us set up a 34 point lead at half-time, and the second half was a non-event from that point onwards. 11 wins, and we're in the finals.
Big unit two-metre-seven-seater-twenty-litre-Bulldog-beater Peter Wright slotted four majors along with Alec Waterman, who played his best game in the red and black.
Devon Smith played arguably his best game since his Crichton year, and he's picked the right time of year to do it.
I'm one of his biggest knockers, but Tom Cutler has been a revelation in defence. He gathered 24 touches last week, and paired with Hind and Redman, provides a really strong avenue to transition from defence to attack.
Jake Stringer is a different sort of beast this year. Statistically the best player in the competition after the bye, he is unstoppable right now. In peak physical condition, the form of his life, the Package is scoring for fun, and is basically impossible to tackle when he gets into the guts. It's not the Dusty role, it's the Stringer role. He defies classification.

ESSENDON BOMBERS 16. 102
def.
COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES 9.10 64

GOALS:
Wright, Waterman 4, Stringer, Smith, Redman 2, Perkins, Snelling
BEST: Smith, Stringer, Wright, Redman, Merrett, Cutler


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WESTERN BULLDOGS

I'm not going to say that the Dogs have choked it this year, because they're still a seriously dangerous side with class on every line, but three consecutive losses to end the season which has seen them drop out of the top four is a seriously miserable prospect for Dogs fans.
Letting it slip against Port by two points, and Brisbane winning with a 0.1 percentage boost, has seen them drop to fifth after being in the top two for most of the year. They look vulnerable.
The Dogs started with four straight to jump out of the blocks against Port, with Bontempelli and Naughton beat their opponents one on one to start the game in the most positive of ways.
The game was much like their season; started like a house on fire but towards the end, the chasing pack caught up.
These Dogs are wounded, but can still bite.
It's our job to put the muzzle on.

WESTERN BULLDOGS 10.4 64
def. by
PORT ADELAIDE POWER 9.12 66

GOALS:
English 2, Bontempelli, Naughton, Dunkley, Johannisen, Weightman, Vandermeer, Hunter, Treloar
BEST: Macrae, Hunter, Daniel, Dale, B. Smith, Treloar


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ESSENDON INS: Jye Caldwell, Martin Gleeson
ESSENDON OUTS: Nick Hind (COVID related bullshittery), Dylan Clarke (Omit)


BULLDOGS INS: -
BULLDOGS OUTS: Josh Schache (Medi-sub)



MILESTONES:
Francis.png

Aaron Francis, Essendon
50 GAMES


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Subs are announced one hour prior to bounce

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It wouldn't be another COVID season without the little ******* of a disease impacting our side at the last minute. Unbeknownst to him, Nick Hind went for a quick lunch at a local supermarket, which was then recently declared to be a Tier 2 exposure site. He tested immediately and returned a negative result, but due to Tasmanian border permissions, is still not allowed into the state. Bullshit. Thankfully, we have Marty Gleeson waiting in the wings, who has actually been fairly decent this year when needed, and should get another year on his contract. It sucks for Nick; he's played every game this year and has consistently been in our bests, so him missing seems seriously unfair. We'll just have to win so he can play next week.

With the negativity of Nick Hind's omission, we have the positivity of the long-awaited return of Jye Caldwell. The recruit we all frothed over from GWS during last year's trade period, he's overcome serious hamstring troubles and was dominant in the scratch match last week. The Bulldog's midfield grunt is one of their most intimidating elements, so getting another strong body in there to compete is huge. Whilst I'm wary of bringing in a young player who's missed so much footy this year, I have faith in Truck and the coaches. They don't often get it wrong, and we have to hope that he'll make a huge difference today. Dylan Clarke has been dropped to make room for him, although he has been solid in the small amount of games he has played.

The Dogs have dropped Josh Schache, who was medical sub last week.


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ROUND 21, 2021
MCG
8/8/2021

WESTERN BULLDOGS 12.12 84
def. by
ESSENDON BOMBERS 15.7 97

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ESSENDON GOALS: Wright 7, Francis 2, Smith, Waterman, Parish, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Draper, Guelfi
BULLDOGS GOALS: Bruce 3, Wood, Duryea, Liberatore, Johannisen, Treloar, Bontempelli, English, Naughton

ESSENDON BEST: Wright, Merrett, Draper, Cutler, Parish
BULLDOGS BEST: Macrae, Bontempelli, Williams, Liberatore

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CHANGES SINCE LAST TIME:

ESSENDON OUTS: Clarke, Hind, Cox, McDonald-Tipungwuti
ESSENDON INS: Caldwell, McGrath, Perkins


BULLDOGS OUTS: Schache, Bruce, Scott, Richards, Ugle-Hagan, Garcia
BULLDOGS INS: Weightman, Vandermeer, Young, Keath, Hannan, R. Smith



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Well, we made it.

This is the best chance we've had to break this bastard streak in a long, long time, but we can't think of it as a done thing.

The Bulldogs are cripped with injury and form at the wrong time of the season, but they still have class everywhere. It's a seriously good side, and although we did defeat them a couple weeks ago, they will have learned how to quell the influence of our star players.

It's been over 6,000 days since we last won a final. I was in Year 7. I now have two kids, and I'm almost 30. That's long enough.

Time to break the streak.




Bombers by 11.
 
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84859300

Premiership Player
Nov 5, 2010
4,262
5,485
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Packers, Bucks, Pens, M's, Chelsea
Anyone on the ground able to share what the weather is like this afternoon?
From Dogs board -
Not a lot of wind here at the moment. Only 5km…I think against the hawks it was around 17kms. Slight drizzle. Doubt we will get that downpour I was hoping for, but hopefully a slippery ball is enough to stop Wright plucking them out his ass.
 

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TBDons1989

Draftee
Oct 8, 2020
15
42
AFL Club
Essendon
I'm interested in seeing whether Bevo plays Tim English almost entirely forward again. I think the reason the Bruce out is so big is that it puts more pressure on them to play English up forward for longer periods, which, even though Martin hasn't played since Round 8, makes their ruck issues a lot more prominent now than they have been for the rest of the season.

Round 12-21, English averaged 23.2 hitouts a game. Last two rounds he's averaged 5.5 with limited time in the ruck. It's no coincidence that the dogs' clearance numbers have fallen off a cliff over the past couple of rounds. That in turn makes their lack of an elite intercept marker more of a problem: when the dogs are dominant at the source it's something that can be made up for, but if you're losing the clearances it becomes a big problem.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the absence of English in the ruck (he's hardly a dominant ruckman, and we also smashed them at the clearances with English playing standard ruck time - but it's worth noting that was also a game where they got no ruck advantage because Draper had a big game and amassed 39 hitouts himself). Obviously Bevo felt last week it was more important to their structure to have a big lead-up forward than it is to have a competitive ruckman for most of the game (which Lewis Young is plainly not). Hoping for a massive game from Drapes today whoever he ends up rucking against - could have a massive domino effect and go a long way to deciding this one.
 

84859300

Premiership Player
Nov 5, 2010
4,262
5,485
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Packers, Bucks, Pens, M's, Chelsea
It's no coincidence that the dogs' clearance numbers have fallen off a cliff over the past couple of rounds.
I suspect to reduce impact they will go ahead and tag DP3. While it happened last week and he still earned 21 touches, I think reducing his output does hurt our F50 entries.
 

JT_the_Man

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 23, 2014
15,814
17,596
Wonders
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Essendon
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LCFC, LAL, 49ers, Melb Utd, Stars
Top 8 clashes — these are the ones we fans cry out for — always have 1 winner and 1 loser.
Did you know that when top 8 teams have met this year, their record is 17 wins and 17 losses? Mind boggling stuff that.

*numbers may be inaccurate but point stands that Kingy said that on TV
 

TBDons1989

Draftee
Oct 8, 2020
15
42
AFL Club
Essendon
I suspect to reduce impact they will go ahead and tag DP3. While it happened last week and he still earned 21 touches, I think reducing his output does hurt our F50 entries.
Agreed - I'm optimistic the Caldwell inclusion will give us a bit more clearance/contested possession depth if he does get a heavy tag (but maybe that's a bit much to be asking in his first game back).
 
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