Review Round 4, 2019 - Essendon vs. Brisbane Lions

Who were your five best players against Essendon?


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dlanod

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Sep 14, 2006
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Every team we play knows the way to beat the lions is start hard, rattle them and it’s game over. Absolutely critical that we get starts sorted.
I can't make sense of that claim given every team we've come up against has started hard, taken a substantial lead, and yet we're 3-1, so it clearly hasn't been "game over".
 

lioninthesand

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Started watching the replay and had to turn it off. Clearly spooked by the occasion, game was lost before the first bounce. Totally reactive and no ability to deal with a good side. Lets move on to next week shall we lol.
 

bato

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Despite how bad we were yesterday, we would’ve been within a few goals if the umpires actually paid the right calls for us in front of goal. Facts are facts. Umps stunk.
 

martinson

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Started watching the replay and had to turn it off. Clearly spooked by the occasion, game was lost before the first bounce. Totally reactive and no ability to deal with a good side. Lets move on to next week shall we lol.
Yeas we looked out of sorts from the start and overwhelmed on the big ground.

Rayner looked to cop a bad corkie and I was surprised to see him front up the next week tbh. Defenders are running off him a bit.

We nailed many of our opportunities in the first 3 games and couldn't nail anything yesterday.

We've got 5 or 6 players who've been out of form since the first game so the reality check as to where we're at and what options we have should help our planning for the next 3 games.
 

royboys4eva

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I noticed the police take away a woman behind the goals at the Lions end. Pretty sure she had lions gear on. Anyone know what happened there?. Took them a few attempts to get her to leave.
 

AFLQLD

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I’m figuring most of the hystericals have got it out of their system now.

Not a good day, but just a single day. There will be more like this over the next couple of seasons. There will also be more wins where we put everything together.

I would hope and expect that the key mood among the players is annoyance with themselves. It need be nothing more drastic than that. They started badly and never caught up. It is a valuable learning experience and will help reset things so players are doing the things that matter.

I am sure that within the club cool heads will prevail, they will deconstruct this loss quickly then move on.
 

Gadzorks

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I can't make sense of that claim given every team we've come up against has started hard, taken a substantial lead, and yet we're 3-1, so it clearly hasn't been "game over".
True - but it was a trait last year that cost us and I’m not convinced we can counter fast starts yet. If I was coaching the opposition I’d definitely be playing up that sentiment to get my team fired up.
 

lionraven

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I think our defenders speed is overblown. The issue isnt that any one of Gardiner/Robertson/Hodge/Witho etc is too slow. The problem is our defensive run was lacking meaning the Bombers could run down the middle unimpeded. Hodge had to give up some professional fouls at the HB position just to slow them down. Bailey wouldnt be able to defend AMT if he is running into the square with Zaharakis/Merret/Shiels kicking into the F50 without any pressure. Its just like how in our first match in the Eagles no one could match it with Cameron and Linc if we had a clean take away down the middle. The facts that stand out to me are the contested possessions (158 vs 131); tackles (56 v 44); centre clearances (15 v 9) and inside 50 efficiency (56% v 37%) which resulted in them scoring 17 goals and only 10 behinds. Other stats are fairly even in terms of disposal efficiency (77% each); disposals (407 vs 377); inside 50s (57 vs 54); turnovers (72 vs 75); time in possession (42% each).

What that tells me is they were able to win the centre bounce which negates our main scoring advantage. They were able to move the ball into F50 unimpeded with very little pressure. This exposed our defense and let them score very efficiently from their entries. In contrast they were able to pressure our entries resulting in contested marks and clearances out of defense.

This ultimately means the issue is with defensive workrate and contested possession rather than an intrinsic lack in player speed or quality.

If we win the ball in the middle then we win the game. If we lose the ball in the middle then we must run hard through the middle to stop their offensive transition through the middle - which we also failed.

I disagree with those that say our half back run was lacking. Our offensive game from HB is solid. We are able to take contested marks with Big O, Martin, McStay, Hipwood etc. Rich and Witho do provide great penetration with their kicking even if they do not have the breakneck speed of Bailey. Bailey is definitely an added weapon down back but as I said, the problem is not with moving the ball from half back. The problem is kicking into our F50. Our mids got pressured and delivered terribly to the disadvantage of McStay/Hipwood/O thus allowing Hurley and Hooker to have them for breakfast. The Dons mids were strolling through the middle and thus able to deliver absolute pies to their forward line and hence the efficiency at goals.

We need to get in mids that will win at the contest or provide pressure and tackle.

Mids wise - Neale + Zorko have been standouts in terms of both offense (clearances, contested possessions, disposals) and defense (tackles, pressure acts). Neale obviously the better. J Lyons is good on defense (4 tackles, 20 pressure acts - same as Zorks/Neale). His offensive side is just OK with only 3 clearances, 5 contested possessions and 18 disposals. This drop in offensive output needs to improve. Berry has been fantastic on offense and has been able to pressure with 21 PA. He is still recovering from his glandular fever as he hasnt been able to translate that to tackles and has looked half a pace short of his man (resulting in him pushing McGrath in defense which resulted in his goal). McCluggage has been decent on defense but his defense is similarly down like Berry's. Matheison has been the one to regress the most; his offensive production is down with only 14 disposals/5contested but his defense is the worry with only 8 PA + 1 tackle. Thats not good enough. Robinson was similarly down on offense and defense (9PA + 1 tackle). His previous 3 games were phenomenal for his defensive efforts as well as his offense - he may be tiring/carrying niggles - may benefit from the 9 day rest after the Pies game. Reflecting back on Robertson; his defensive efforts were definitely up with 20PA + 5 tackles. Rayner is the biggest concern is his lack of production with 8 disposals; no contested possessions and mainly 0 contested marks. His pressure acts have been up/higher than Cameron. To me he either has a fitness issue or we are playing him for too long in the F50 and may need to bring him more into the game by playing him up the ground.

Its hard to judge HA, Gardiner and Walker when the ball is coming in so easily from the middle. Though Walker has been in fine form for intercept marking. McStay has been leading up to the ball and should have slotted that easy shot at 30m 60 degree angle. Cameron has been better than Raynor but way below his expected level. Linc has been decent but he is always going to be a low possession high impact guy and will provide major boons if we get the ball into F50.

Reflecting back the changes I would make for next week are:
Keays in and potentially Bastinac/Taylor in. Give Keays a role in the F50 to just tackle and pressure as hard as he can. He wouldnt need to score. He just needs to pressure their HB and stop the easy run out through the middle. Potentially bring in Taylor or Bastinac as they are proven runners and can run to the fat side to act as a link up. For this Matheison needs to come out. Move Charlie into the middle and rotate him with Robbo/Rayner/Linc. Bundy is out if Taylor/Bastinac comes in. Bundy is too unfit and doesnt spread as hard. He is a turnover merchant. His kick lacks penetration. However I would trust him to lay a tackle over Taylor or Bastinac. I would trust Bastinac to dispose the ball better than either of those 3. Taylor is the better forward than either 3 and I trust his link up play running.

I wouldnt be looking to drop Raynor for Keays unless he is injured/cant make the short turn around. Raynor is an X factor player. He doenst need a whole heap of possessions to put 2 goals + on the board. If he wasnt so wasteful in the opening rounds he would be leading our scoring. I'd trust him to get a rocket up his ass and really lift for the Pies and take some grabs. His height + aerial ability + agility on the ground makes him a difficult matchup in the F50 (especially if their best small defender is too busy watching Cameron + Linc). He needs to lift his pressure and tackling (which is where I think Keays could be beneficial as a defensive forward to get the turnover and let Raynor capitalise). If we drop Raynor then I would bring in Cox as he is also an X factor type small forward. The only reservation I have on Cox is can he bring the pressure. Tackling at NEAFL level vs AFL level is a whole different ball game.

The backline I would largely keep. Dropping Matheison and bringing in more pressure in the F50/mids will help massively with defense. The talls are playing alright. Gardiner can match De Goey for strength + aerially + on the ground; he will get soundly beaten on the lead. If our pressure in the middle is up then we can handle this. Robertson played well enough in terms of defense to keep his position. He isnt as line breaking as Bailey on offense but he is a running machine. What he lacks in speed he can make up for in spread. I think we should give him the whole time Bailey is out to see if he can gel offensively with Rich/Witho/Hodge etc. He cant break lines with his speed but if he can stay up and break a tackle he could handball out to Rich/Witho and break lines that way (like he did for a while in 2017 + 2018). I am happy to give him some time to settle.

Hodge is the question mark. His leadership would be huge on field. However, can his body recover from such a short turn around? If he does need a rest I honestly dont know who we would bring. It would be very difficult to bring in a newbie like Hinge/Answerth etc into a pressure cooker like primetime Pies. Difficult question for the selection panel.

Lastly on Cutler; bloke plays like a FIGJAM. Multiple times in the last 2 games he has banged it onto his boot from 50 out instead of trying to hit the lace out pass or handball for the cheapie over the top. In the first match he was able to nail some shots. In the second he was wayward. He also needs to defend. He just doesnt like to run hard and tackle down a guy. You cant have defensive passengers in the AFL - as we have seen with Matho's lack of pressure these last couple games. You need to be Beams level good to get away with no offense ... which he isnt. He is a less skilled Polec type. Hopefully he can sort that out and get into the team. Otherwise I can see him being traded out to a Melb club - he will look like a steal for a couple of games (just like how Motlop looked like a steal last year) and then his averageness in defense will stand out.
 

Tassie4ever

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Should've put Zorko on TW with instructions to annoy the crap outta him- ie play his normal game.
 

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Squizz89

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Was out yesterday so could only watch the game sparingly on the phone, but I was interested to see we seem to have got pretty badly beaten in the centre bounces again?

Was astonishingly bad against Port the week before especially in the last half, with by memory the only few we won in there were when we kicked those last few goals to win the game.

North killed us out of there in the first half against them too.

That coupled in with our lack of speed in the back half is my biggest concern.

Also a bit worried on where Witherden and Cam are currently at but that’s another story.
 

Football Pope

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I noticed the police take away a woman behind the goals at the Lions end. Pretty sure she had lions gear on. Anyone know what happened there?. Took them a few attempts to get her to leave.
Yep..there was a bit of banter between her and the fat bearded Essendon supporter 4 rows back..Unfortunately it got nasty and she dropped a few adjectives regarding his parents matrimonial status and his resemblance to genital parts... Then went the racial rant to the Indian security guards that required them to get the constabulary to turn up.(So I was told)
 
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bato

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I noticed the police take away a woman behind the goals at the Lions end. Pretty sure she had lions gear on. Anyone know what happened there?. Took them a few attempts to get her to leave.
Yeah I know her. She’s always vocal at games. Must have overdone it this week.
 

ROARLIKE44

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Yep..there was a bit of banter between her and the fat bearded Essendon supporter 4 rows back..Unfortunately it got nasty and she dropped a few adjectives regarding his parents matrimonial status and his resemblance to genital parts... Then went the racial rant to the Indian security guards that required them to get the constabulary to turn up.(So I was told)

Your source was incorrect
 

jason pm

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I think our defenders speed is overblown. The issue isnt that any one of Gardiner/Robertson/Hodge/Witho etc is too slow. The problem is our defensive run was lacking meaning the Bombers could run down the middle unimpeded. Hodge had to give up some professional fouls at the HB position just to slow them down. Bailey wouldnt be able to defend AMT if he is running into the square with Zaharakis/Merret/Shiels kicking into the F50 without any pressure. Its just like how in our first match in the Eagles no one could match it with Cameron and Linc if we had a clean take away down the middle. The facts that stand out to me are the contested possessions (158 vs 131); tackles (56 v 44); centre clearances (15 v 9) and inside 50 efficiency (56% v 37%) which resulted in them scoring 17 goals and only 10 behinds. Other stats are fairly even in terms of disposal efficiency (77% each); disposals (407 vs 377); inside 50s (57 vs 54); turnovers (72 vs 75); time in possession (42% each).

What that tells me is they were able to win the centre bounce which negates our main scoring advantage. They were able to move the ball into F50 unimpeded with very little pressure. This exposed our defense and let them score very efficiently from their entries. In contrast they were able to pressure our entries resulting in contested marks and clearances out of defense.

This ultimately means the issue is with defensive workrate and contested possession rather than an intrinsic lack in player speed or quality.

If we win the ball in the middle then we win the game. If we lose the ball in the middle then we must run hard through the middle to stop their offensive transition through the middle - which we also failed.

I disagree with those that say our half back run was lacking. Our offensive game from HB is solid. We are able to take contested marks with Big O, Martin, McStay, Hipwood etc. Rich and Witho do provide great penetration with their kicking even if they do not have the breakneck speed of Bailey. Bailey is definitely an added weapon down back but as I said, the problem is not with moving the ball from half back. The problem is kicking into our F50. Our mids got pressured and delivered terribly to the disadvantage of McStay/Hipwood/O thus allowing Hurley and Hooker to have them for breakfast. The Dons mids were strolling through the middle and thus able to deliver absolute pies to their forward line and hence the efficiency at goals.

We need to get in mids that will win at the contest or provide pressure and tackle.

Mids wise - Neale + Zorko have been standouts in terms of both offense (clearances, contested possessions, disposals) and defense (tackles, pressure acts). Neale obviously the better. J Lyons is good on defense (4 tackles, 20 pressure acts - same as Zorks/Neale). His offensive side is just OK with only 3 clearances, 5 contested possessions and 18 disposals. This drop in offensive output needs to improve. Berry has been fantastic on offense and has been able to pressure with 21 PA. He is still recovering from his glandular fever as he hasnt been able to translate that to tackles and has looked half a pace short of his man (resulting in him pushing McGrath in defense which resulted in his goal). McCluggage has been decent on defense but his defense is similarly down like Berry's. Matheison has been the one to regress the most; his offensive production is down with only 14 disposals/5contested but his defense is the worry with only 8 PA + 1 tackle. Thats not good enough. Robinson was similarly down on offense and defense (9PA + 1 tackle). His previous 3 games were phenomenal for his defensive efforts as well as his offense - he may be tiring/carrying niggles - may benefit from the 9 day rest after the Pies game. Reflecting back on Robertson; his defensive efforts were definitely up with 20PA + 5 tackles. Rayner is the biggest concern is his lack of production with 8 disposals; no contested possessions and mainly 0 contested marks. His pressure acts have been up/higher than Cameron. To me he either has a fitness issue or we are playing him for too long in the F50 and may need to bring him more into the game by playing him up the ground.

Its hard to judge HA, Gardiner and Walker when the ball is coming in so easily from the middle. Though Walker has been in fine form for intercept marking. McStay has been leading up to the ball and should have slotted that easy shot at 30m 60 degree angle. Cameron has been better than Raynor but way below his expected level. Linc has been decent but he is always going to be a low possession high impact guy and will provide major boons if we get the ball into F50.

Reflecting back the changes I would make for next week are:
Keays in and potentially Bastinac/Taylor in. Give Keays a role in the F50 to just tackle and pressure as hard as he can. He wouldnt need to score. He just needs to pressure their HB and stop the easy run out through the middle. Potentially bring in Taylor or Bastinac as they are proven runners and can run to the fat side to act as a link up. For this Matheison needs to come out. Move Charlie into the middle and rotate him with Robbo/Rayner/Linc. Bundy is out if Taylor/Bastinac comes in. Bundy is too unfit and doesnt spread as hard. He is a turnover merchant. His kick lacks penetration. However I would trust him to lay a tackle over Taylor or Bastinac. I would trust Bastinac to dispose the ball better than either of those 3. Taylor is the better forward than either 3 and I trust his link up play running.

I wouldnt be looking to drop Raynor for Keays unless he is injured/cant make the short turn around. Raynor is an X factor player. He doenst need a whole heap of possessions to put 2 goals + on the board. If he wasnt so wasteful in the opening rounds he would be leading our scoring. I'd trust him to get a rocket up his ass and really lift for the Pies and take some grabs. His height + aerial ability + agility on the ground makes him a difficult matchup in the F50 (especially if their best small defender is too busy watching Cameron + Linc). He needs to lift his pressure and tackling (which is where I think Keays could be beneficial as a defensive forward to get the turnover and let Raynor capitalise). If we drop Raynor then I would bring in Cox as he is also an X factor type small forward. The only reservation I have on Cox is can he bring the pressure. Tackling at NEAFL level vs AFL level is a whole different ball game.

The backline I would largely keep. Dropping Matheison and bringing in more pressure in the F50/mids will help massively with defense. The talls are playing alright. Gardiner can match De Goey for strength + aerially + on the ground; he will get soundly beaten on the lead. If our pressure in the middle is up then we can handle this. Robertson played well enough in terms of defense to keep his position. He isnt as line breaking as Bailey on offense but he is a running machine. What he lacks in speed he can make up for in spread. I think we should give him the whole time Bailey is out to see if he can gel offensively with Rich/Witho/Hodge etc. He cant break lines with his speed but if he can stay up and break a tackle he could handball out to Rich/Witho and break lines that way (like he did for a while in 2017 + 2018). I am happy to give him some time to settle.

Hodge is the question mark. His leadership would be huge on field. However, can his body recover from such a short turn around? If he does need a rest I honestly dont know who we would bring. It would be very difficult to bring in a newbie like Hinge/Answerth etc into a pressure cooker like primetime Pies. Difficult question for the selection panel.

Lastly on Cutler; bloke plays like a FIGJAM. Multiple times in the last 2 games he has banged it onto his boot from 50 out instead of trying to hit the lace out pass or handball for the cheapie over the top. In the first match he was able to nail some shots. In the second he was wayward. He also needs to defend. He just doesnt like to run hard and tackle down a guy. You cant have defensive passengers in the AFL - as we have seen with Matho's lack of pressure these last couple games. You need to be Beams level good to get away with no offense ... which he isnt. He is a less skilled Polec type. Hopefully he can sort that out and get into the team. Otherwise I can see him being traded out to a Melb club - he will look like a steal for a couple of games (just like how Motlop looked like a steal last year) and then his averageness in defense will stand out.
Great read lionraven, when is the next novel set for release?;)
 

OldLion

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So - at the G. Unhappy hunting ground and yes .. we got walloped in the first 10 minutes. Bombers got match ups perfect. Deju vu all over again. Ok - but our forwards showed their teammates no respect when they just casually laid back and slaughtered shots at goal. Cam Rayner - that's you. I know we had no winners and the delivery forward was just speculative dumps but .. in the last we we actually gaining ground and respect ( in the outer at least ) and Eric Cam and Charlie just tossed it down the toilet. Whereas ATW did not look like missing - balanced, skilled from all angles and on the run. Fans can accept losses - and god knows we've seen some hammerings at the G - but when you casually attempt a left foot snap from a mark ( that you must have practised ALL your life ) and it just shanks out, the laughing and derision are enough to condemn the footy scarf to the darkest locker. If only Linc had been paid the mark , I'm sure he would have kicked accurately and we were amazingly close ! The only guy I can be confident in is the Big O - what's with that ? So I sat back and watched Bernie Quinlan easing them in from beyond 50 .. shaking-head-emoji
 

jason pm

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Some panicking in the BF BL camp due to the loss yesterday, thought it would be go back through the last 3 seasons for the eventual premiers biggest loss of that season.

2018- West Coast, Round 19 v North lost by 40 points.
2017- Richmond, Round 6 v Adelaide lost by 76 points.
2016- Western Bulldogs, Round 13 v Geelong lost by 57 points.
 

bungalow_bill

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Some panicking in the BF BL camp due to the loss yesterday, thought it would be go back through the last 3 seasons for the eventual premiers biggest loss of that season.

2018- West Coast, Round 19 v North lost by 40 points.
2017- Richmond, Round 6 v Adelaide lost by 76 points.
2016- Western Bulldogs, Round 13 v Geelong lost by 57 points.
Richmond also lost to the Saints by 67 points in 2017
 

luthor

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Some panicking in the BF BL camp due to the loss yesterday, thought it would be go back through the last 3 seasons for the eventual premiers biggest loss of that season.

2018- West Coast, Round 19 v North lost by 40 points.
2017- Richmond, Round 6 v Adelaide lost by 76 points.
2016- Western Bulldogs, Round 13 v Geelong lost by 57 points.
Different days I know but in 1990, the Pies got hammered by Hawthorn by 83 points in Round 20 (of 22)

They then went on to win the Premiership.
 

ROARLIKE44

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You'd think it would be accurate considering the source was the large lions supporter on the aisle seat, the next row just behind the woman...
The bearded fat one is my son & I was sitting next to him. Neither of us heard anything about matrimonial status. I sat & spoke to the lady sitting next to the one who was booted out she said their were no racist remarks to security. I know the mother of the 2 young children in row C spoke to security at least twice about the individual in the front row.
 

luthor

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I usually don't read long dissertations in full but I thought the material in the post was well researched and thought out.

Besides, lionraven made an excellent point straight up about the myth of defensive speed, about which I happen to have the same opinion. I had to keep reading;)
 
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