Monfries puts Hollywood days behind him - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Monfries puts Hollywood days behind him

By Adam Cooper 09/05/2009 10:04:36 AM Comments (0)

Essendon half-forward Angus Monfries has proven to Hawthorn he has come a long way since his "Hollywood" exploits of three years ago.

Monfries was famously pilloried for attempting a banana kick for goal in the wet in a close match against the Hawks in 2006, which sailed out on the full before Hawthorn won by one point.

Then-coach Kevin Sheedy was unhappy with Monfries' decision and labelled it a "Hollywood kick".

But Monfries won praise for his selflessness from current coach Matthew Knights after Essendon's stirring win over the Hawks at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, which ended a run of six defeats to their rival.

Knights said Monfries had requested the chance to play on Hawthorn star Luke Hodge, who sets up many forward thrusts for his side from defence.

"I was quite comfortable to go with that because Angus has got the discipline to try to work for the team, but he's also got the ability to find the ball and he presents pretty much in the V of the kicker, so that gives him an opportunity to come at the ball," Knights said after the 17.14 (116) to 10.12 (72) win.

The Monfries-Hodge duel worked out so well for Essendon that the star Hawk (although playing sore) had little impact, whereas the Bomber took 12 marks, had 22 disposals and booted two goals.

Monfries and captain Matthew Lloyd (three goals and a career-best 15 marks) were so effective that Knights left the pair on the ground for the entire game.

"I thought Angus' and Matthew's ability to present, to launch at the ball, and then to hit the deck and put pressure on was absolutely superb," he said.

"Matthew and Angus deserve a lot of credit for the games they played because they didn't rotate at all, they were two who went the whole journey."

Essendon went into the game as longshots given so many of their senior players were absent injured.

But Knights urged his young side to play without fear, and their dash through the middle of the ground was electrifying.

In more encouragement for the young side, forward Jay Neagle, ruckman Tom Bellchambers and half-back Bachar Houli all had an impact after being called in to replace the more experienced Dustin Fletcher (leg), Scott Lucas (form) and Leroy Jetta (knee).

Knights said the next challenge for his side, which sits at 4-3, was to maintain the standards against unbeaten St Kilda.

"Hopefully playing St Kilda next game and the form they're in the respect they've got across the industry at the moment will be a bit of an inspiration for our guys to try to rise again," he said.

"That will be another big challenge for us."

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