Bashed-up AFL Bombers set to front up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bashed-up AFL Bombers set to front up

Justin Chadwick 20/08/2011 08:25:13 PM Comments (0)

Essendon captain Jobe Watson, midfielder Andrew Welsh and forward Stewart Crameri could all front up against Port Adelaide next week despite being left worse for wear in Saturday's 57-point AFL loss to West Coast in Perth.

Welsh was subbed out of the game with concussion midway through the first quarter after copping a heavy knock to his head from the hip of Ashton Hams, while Watson was seeing stars and left with a bloodied mouth in the third quarter after a front-on bump from Eagles hard-nut Beau Waters.

To cap Essendon's horror day, Crameri's right shoulder popped out of its socket during a regulation spoil.

It left the 23-year-old in severe agony while lying on the ground for several minutes before his shoulder was put back into place.

Essendon, who have a bye in the final round, must now hope a win over struggling Port Adelaide will be enough to secure them a top-eight spot.

The last-placed Power have been a rabble this season and enter Sunday's game against the Bulldogs on the back of losses of 165 and 138 points over the past two weeks.

But Hird said he couldn't afford to rest Watson, Welsh and Crameri if they were declared fit next week, despite the fact that Essendon will be raging favourites to defeat Port Adelaide.

"We won't be resting anyone," Hird declared.

"We'll be bringing (Michael) Hurley (foot) and (Tayte) Pears (soreness) back in the team, we hope Crameri is all right and we hope Watson and Welsh are all right.

"If they're injured they won't play, but we'll be playing the best team we have available.

"We know in our minds that we have to beat Port Adelaide to give ourselves any chance and we've got eight days to prepare.

"We just have to beat them, there are no two ways about it.

"(Crameri) hasn't (had any problems) before (with the shoulder) and it went back in pretty easily, so he'll be all right."

Hird refused to blame the injuries to Welsh and Watson for his team's fadeout against the Eagles.

Essendon led by one point at half-time and trailed by just 14 points when Watson left the field early in the third quarter.

But from that point West Coast dominated, kicking 10 of the next 12 goals to secure the 20.14 (134) to 11.11 (77) victory.

"West Coast certainly had the better of us and would have won the game anyway," Hird said.

"We're physically still trying to get ourselves to the level of the top sides and we'll be doing that over the next 12 or 18 months."

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