New-look Bombers click against Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New-look Bombers click against Tigers

By Jarrod Whittaker 13/03/2010 09:47:20 PM Comments (0)

Essendon's new-look attack showed promise as the Bombers cruised to a 74-point win in their AFL practice match against Richmond.

Essendon coach Matthew Knights said the forward strategy had worked reasonably well during their 23.9 (147) to 11.6 (72) thrashing, with 13 different Bombers goalkickers at Morwell in country Victoria.

Following the retirements of Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas, a major issue for Essendon this year will be the effectiveness of their forward line.

"It's not always going to be that fluid on each and every given week but I thought when the ball hit the ground they put the pressure on," Knights said.

"That's all you can ask, if they don't get the ball to make sure they put pressure on the opposition.

"I think all of them produced at different times today in different bursts." Angus Monfries and David Zaharakis led the scoring for the Bombers with three goals apiece.

Knights was also relieved that Essendon had come through their last game before round one of the premiership season without any injuries.

"Probably the other thing I thought, we finished the game reasonably strongly in the last quarter which is always pleasing from the coaches point of view," Knights said.

Bombers key forward Scott Gumbleton, who has struggled with injuries, performed well and Knights said he is a certainty for round one.

"Because he's such an honest player he works really hard towards the ball, at times he's going to get bypassed but he worked back and pressed back in and got long balls occasionally," Knights said.

"For me it's all about him getting game time, his first 10 or 12 games it's about him getting used to AFL football again and I think we'll really see him flourish from that point onwards." Essendon led throughout despite a third quarter fightback from Richmond, with Jack Riewoldt kicking two goals in quick succession.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick singled out youngsters Ben Nason and Dustin Martin as positives for his side.

"I think we've found some players who are going to take us forward which is exciting for us," he said.

Hardwick said his side's intensity lifted in the third quarter before dropping again.

"We had a couple of really bad turnovers that gave some easy goals, a couple of free kicks at the centre bounce that gave away entries inside 50," he said.

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