By Kim Densham for AFANA in Melbourne
The Gold Coast Suns came primed and ready to show that the previous week's win in Adelaide against the Crows was not a flash in the pan. The Bombers were up and about with the forward press working a treat and the team coming to grips with the loss of Jason Winderlich and Courtney Dempsey.
As it turned out the match was a cracker but for all the wrong reasons as far as the Suns were concerned. A quick summary of the first quarter action went as follows: umpire bounces, ruckman taps out, ball kicked forward, mark taken, goal kicked, repeat 15 times. The Bombers blitzed the Suns with a 15 goal first quarter. In fact it was the highest scoring opening quarter in AFL history, Essendon’s highest scoring quarter ever and the second highest scoring quarter in the combined history of the game (VFL and AFL) eclipsed only by South Melbourne versus St Kilda in Round 19, 1919. Colorful player Kyle Reimers kicked eight goals, his best effort to date and the best effort for any Essendon team without Matthew Lloyd or Scott Lucas.
This game exposed the youth and inexperience of the Suns, despite the championship qualities of Gary Ablett. They lacked cohesiveness and were shell-shocked at the speed of the Bomber attack and the effervescence of their running game. It required a quarter time coaching address to shake the team from its trance and get them to start working the basics of pressure, tackle and pass. A Lazarus-like effort in the second quarter saw the Suns outscore the Bombers but it was too little too late. Essendon lifted in the third and kept the pressure on in the fourth quarter but in reality it had been game over by the end of the opening quarter.
Essendon 31.11 (197) Gold Coast 8.10 (58)
Article last changed on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 - 3:42 AM EDT