Promising Bombers come unstuck late on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Promising Bombers come unstuck late on

By Roger Vaughan 27/03/2010 05:13:34 PM Comments (0)

Essendon undid a lot of good work with their poor final term in Friday night's loss to reigning AFL premiers Geelong.

The Bombers impressed coach Matthew Knights at times with their poise and drive, but there was nothing good about the last quarter as the Cats turned a six-point deficit into a 31-point win.

"We played more mature footy for three quarters ... probably than at any time in the last couple of years," Knights said.

"(It) was probably a more well-balanced effort, but we still have a way to go in a few areas.

"The last quarter was poor, Geelong played well."

For periods in the second and third terms, Essendon were dominating play and looked ready to open up a significant break on Geelong.

But twice the Bombers botched scoring chances and the Cats pounced, quickly rebounding for crucial goals.

The Cats were too good to allow Essendon a third chance.

"We played strong, contested footy for a lot of the game and got a fair share of the ball out of the middle," Knights said.

"It was extremely positive - 29 scorings shots to 30, 74 tackles each, so in some areas we matched them.

"In the end, they were just a lot cleaner with their skills when it came to the crunch."

Knights was not buying into the argument that Geelong were at a disadvantage because they had a later start to their pre-season than Essendon.

The Bombers coach noted the Cats had also played nearly a month longer than his team at the end of last season.

In Knights' opinion, neither side had a significant advantage ahead of the season opener.

One pleasing aspect for Knights was the successful return of ruckman David Hille.

While Hille was reported for charging Jimmy Bartel, he showed no ill effects of the knee reconstruction that followed last year's Anzac Day game.

"David was quite good, I was proud of his efforts in his 150th game," Knights said.

"It's always tough (after a reconstruction), particularly being a ruckman."

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