Bombers upset Saints by 12 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers upset Saints by 12 points

By Adam Cooper 16/05/2010 09:38:28 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights called it an arm wrestle, but it more often resembled basketball or soccer.

The Bombers' success on the fast break earned them a second successive win over St Kilda on Sunday night at Etihad Stadium and a record no other AFL team can boast.

Like in last year's epic two-point victory, the Dons were devastatingly slick at times and burned the Saints away on the counter-break in their 14.9 (93) to 11.15 (81) win.

Only five teams have beaten St Kilda over the past seasons, and Essendon are the only side to have done it twice, through lethal efficiency.

St Kilda had more disposals, more contested possessions and went into attack more, but Essendon's pace and ability to run the ball from end to end proved the difference.

Three goals against the play earned Essendon a half-time lead, which they turned into a buffer in the third quarter when they three times whisked the ball from defence for goals.

"Probably the key area was when our opportunity arose we hit the scoreboard and when we got some flow and we got some ball we probably hit three or four goals there," Knights said.

"The key areas of the game was when we went two or three (goals) down and we were able to stem the flow and hang around and then when we got momentum back again we moved ahead."

Essendon also showed bottle, as ruckmen David Hille (four goals) and Patrick Ryder (three) kicked steadiers when they were needed.

The pair played forward more than they would have envisaged because the loss of defender Cale Hooker (hamstring) meant Michael Hurley went from attack into the backline and the ruckmen went forward in stints.

Ryder twice snapped goals in the last quarter after Saints big men Justin Koschitzke and Michael Gardiner (three goals apiece) launched a comeback.

Essendon's win gave them a 3-5 win-loss record and also avenged last week's costly fade when they were overrun by Port Adelaide.

"It was good to win an arm wrestle. Last week it was disappointing to lose an arm wrestle, but we got one today and it was fairly good for the group to achieve that," Knights said.

"To beat the Saints in that type of game is really good for us rather than being at a helter-skelter 19- to 18-goal game.

"It's a big plus for us to do that against a quality team and I rate them so highly because they've been so consistent over two years now."

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon, whose side has now lost three of its past four games for a 3-5 record, was pleased with his players' effort but said the Saints did not grab the ascendancy when they should have.

"They scored some easy goals and we failed to capitalise on some easy opportunities really," Lyon said.

Veteran defender Dustin Fletcher was magnificent for Essendon, as was half-back Heath Hocking.

Knights was also pleased with the way his young midfielders battled against Saints stars Nick Dal santo, Lenny Hayes and Brendon Goddard.

Hooker is set to miss three games, while Hille was reported for rough conduct for his late challenge on Goddard in the first quarter.

Knights was hopeful the Dons could back up their performance against Richmond in Saturday night's Dreamtime game, which celebrates the Aboriginal link with football.

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