What did we learn? Essendon vs Collingwood

After a thrilling Anzac Day encounter, Joel Bowes tells us what we learned about Collingwood and Essendon.

The Bombers and Magpies played out one of the great ANZAC Day matches, now we look back at five lessons we learned from a terrific contest.

  1. Magpies start fast

Collingwood were elite early on ANZAC Day, destroying the Bomber in the first and for most of the last term before conceding the last three goals that rounded out the first half. The Pies lead by 23 points at the first change and perhaps should have been even further in front after a poor effort in front of the sticks to have four goals and five behinds on the board. All the big stars, namely Grundy, Sidebottom and Pendlebury were huge in the first term and caught the Bombers napping early.

  1. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is more than just another cult hero

If you’re not an Essendon supporter and ‘Tippa’ as he’s affectionately known isn’t your favourite player from another club, then you are just wrong. He’s an elite field kick, a menacing tackler and a speed demon who is electrifying to watch whenever he’s near the football. Although the ANZAC Day game wasn’t his best by far, he had plenty of exciting moments that brought the house down, and anytime he is even close to the footy plenty of us are up out of our seats.

  1. Collingwood win one of the great ANZAC Day games

A great, hard fought contest saw to sides with hungry and exciting lists clash and it did not disappoint. Just a four-point win for the Magpies was less than expected after the start they had, where it looked like they could pile on a ten or twelve goal win. The Bombers kept the pressure on from half way through the second term when they found their mojo. Although the bombers never lead the match they did threaten on several occasions, and after a great start to the last term it looked like they just might. A gallant loss for Essendon, a clutch win for Collingwood in a truly spirited ANZAC Day match.

  1. Scott Pendlebury a well-deserved ANZAC Day medallist

Pendlebury claimed his third ANZAC Day medal in one of the great games. He had ten last quarter possessions which helped his side sew up a terrific victory. Pendlebury had a total of 38 possessions, including 25 kicks amongst them, he also claimed six tackles and seven marks. Pendlebury not only amassed stats, but also was a huge influence on his side and provided some special moments to drag his side across the line, after at one stage it looked like they would be overrun.

  1. Both teams now interestingly placed

The Magpies will now sit second on the ladder mid-way through round six and will look to maintain their top two standing, with Port Adelaide at home next week, followed by a clash with Carlton at the MCG. Collingwood, along with pole-sitters Geelong and reigning Premiers West Coast are currently the three teams to beat for me, (despite the Eagle’s blip against the Power), but the Magpies might just be the best of the lot. The Bombers contrastingly will sit in eight overnight but will probably fall out of the eight with the rest of the round’s results. Now at three and three and with two away matches against the Cats and Swans to come, Essendon will need to win at least one of these to stay in touch with the chasing pack which includes many quality sides that have also started the year poorly, namely West Coast, Adelaide and Hawthorn. The Bombers will take a lot out of today’s match, but won’t settle for admirable wins in the future.

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