No let up, warns Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No let up, warns Hird

Roger Vaughan 25/04/2011 10:46:05 PM Comments (0)

Immediately after a fighting Anzac Day loss to AFL powers Collingwood, Essendon coach James Hird was demanding no let-up to the noticeable improvement.

While the Bombers can take great encouragement from Hird's first five games as an AFL coach, he noted they only have two wins and a draw.

The reigning premiers' greater midfield depth and their outstanding poise won out in the end as the Magpies kicked clear through the final quarter to win by five goals, 16.11 (107) to 11.11 (77) in front of 89,626 fans.

Scott Pendlebury won his second-straight Anzac Medal as best afield in the biggest game of the year outside the finals, also adding to his Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in last year's grand final win.

But there was again a lot to like about Hird's Essendon, especially the difference from a year ago.

On Anzac Day 12 months ago, Collingwood belted them in the first quarter and then kicked away for a 65-point drubbing.

Essendon again looked rattled early in the second term on Monday when they trailed by five goals to none, but this time they readjusted their game plan and hit back hard.

They were one point down in the third term and two points behind in the final term before Travis Cloke's three final-term goals broke the deadlock.

Essendon's next opponents will be Gold Coast and West Coast at Etihad Stadium, followed by Brisbane away and MCG clashes against Richmond and Melbourne.

They are all very winnable games for the improved Bombers.

Hird scotched any suggestion that the Bombers might have some sort of emotional letdown after bravely drawing with Carlton and then pushing Collingwood, who remain the competition's benchmark.

"There's a lot of hype about Essendon always, whether it be negative or positive," he said.

"The reality is we're two and a half wins out of five and we're back right in the middle of the pack.

"If you want to improve and you want to be a good football club you have to start winning games of footy.

"We come up against Gold Coast this weekend and we need a win ... to get our season rolling again.

"We haven't won two games in a row ... no-one at Essendon is sitting here saying we need something to build ourselves up."

The Suns will be no pushovers after their historic first win on Saturday over Port Adelaide.

Gold Coast rallied in the last term at AAMI Stadium to beat the Power 15.14 (104) to 15.11 (101).

Improving Richmond also posted their first win of the season on Sunday against North Melbourne, who are now 0-4.

Richmond came from behind in the last quarter to win 17.10 (112) to 14.19 (103).

Carlton eventually overcame their inaccuracy on Saturday night to beat Adelaide 11.19 (85) to 12.7 (79).

St Kilda remain far from convincing, but at least they're winning again.

The Saints overcame a determined Brisbane 13.11 (89) to 11.10 (76) to open the round on Thursday night at the Gabba.

Round five ends on Tuesday when unbeaten Geelong plays Hawthorn in another titanic MCG clash.

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