I know it has been said a million times, but it was the loss that the Eagles had to have.
West Coast had a relatively straightforward start to the season and Essendon were the first team in the top 6 that they had come up against. Granted injuries did play a role, but I can’t see them having too much of an impact when a team gets thumped by more than 60. Sure, if you lose by 10 points, 15 points, 20 points, I can understand statements like “if Matt Priddis wasn’t injured we could have won” or “If we had our forwards Josh Kennedy and Mark Le Cras in we would have won” but to be honest, I cant see the absent forwards kicking 11 goals between them to win the game for the Eagles.
Credit where credit is due, the Eagles were outclassed and played poorly. They had no fire, no spirit and let Essendon walk all over them in the second half. You can’t blame injuries for a lack of pressure or a lack of effort to get the ball. As I said, this was the loss the Eagles had to have, if only to open their eyes that the season is not going to be as easy as the first six rounds and get them fighting for the win again.
Personally, im not too fazed at the result, and I am not saying that simply because I bleed purple. I think a lot of AFL enthusiasts like myself would be pretty happy the Eagles lost because of what it means for the league. There are now three teams in equal first battling for the top spot in West Coast,Adelaideand Essendon. Then you have four teams inCarlton,Sydney, Fremantle and Collingwood keeping up with the leaders, just one win off the pace. Another win further back isGeelong, Hawthorn and St Kilda, teams many picked would be firmly planted in the top 8, if not the top 4, by this time.
I don’t remember a time when the race was this close, and it gets me excited. Picking a winner is like picking your favourite sibling, there is one in the back of your mind that you think could be it, but that could change day to day.
This week’s fixtures will go a little way to (maybe) thinning out this group, with West Coast taking on St Kilda, Collingwood playing againstGeelongand Fremantle up against Hawthorn.All I know is that another loss to the Eagles this week, and that premiership race will be wide open.
Its going to be a good season of AFL 😀
What I Liked About the Game
Open Season: Its hard not to love the uncertainty of who will win a game. Makes tipping harder, but a lot more thrilling.
Andrew Gaff: Its hard to find a shining light in such a dismal performance by the Eagles, but one player who can hold his head up high is Gaff. The youngster picked up 25 disposals, the most of his team, and provided one of the few sources of run on the night.