No easy Ryder for Bombers despite big win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No easy Ryder for Bombers despite big win

Melissa Woods 28/03/2011 01:45:47 PM Comments (0)

Despite the convincing winning margin, Essendon ruckman Paddy Ryder knew he'd been in a contest after the clash with the Western Bulldogs.

The Bombers opened their AFL season and a new era under coach James Hird with a thumping 55-point win over the Bulldogs on Sunday.

Ryder was a standout performer, however he said it was far from easy, with the new reduced interchange rule taking its toll.

"You can certainly feel it during the game, in the second quarter I was hands on knees," he said on Monday, adding he believed the Bombers handled the new rule well.

"Last night I was shocking getting to sleep I was so sore."

The ruck combination of Ryder and David Hille was a highlight in the match, with former skipper Matthew Lloyd labelling them the best in the league.

Ryder was flattered by the description and recognised their importance to the Bombers' gameplan.

He said their ability to play in the ruck and also go forward added to the flexibility of the side and helped stretch the opposition's defence.

"I'm just happy to have Hilley out on the park cause in the past couple of seasons he's missed a few games," said Ryder who also kicked two goals.

"It helps the team when we're both out there and playing well and when we're both playing well we normally have a win so it's good for the side."

The 23-year-old echoed Hird's words that a round-one victory didn't make a season, although he said confidence was high in the camp.

"It's only one win and if we go away and put in a poor performance then it's not going to count, it's all about improvement at the moment and not getting too ahead of ourselves."

So was Western Bulldogs' coach Rodney Eade's prediction of a potential top-four finish for the Bombers premature?

"Yeh, he's probably getting carried away a little bit," Ryder laughed.

"It's all about taking every week one step at a time."

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