What did we learn? – Sydney vs Essendon

What did we learn from the Swans win over Essendon? Joel Bowes tells us the five things he learned.

  1. Nick Blakey might have a bit more to offer

Son of Fitzroy and North Melbourne great John Blakey, Nick started the game hot tonight, collecting the ball with skill and using speed early. Blakey imposed around the contest and was constantly involved throughout the night. Although he’s a long way off his father’s effort of a whopping 359 matches, Blakey has shown a little in his handful of matches and tonight was very impressive. The Swans will hope to mine some more gems like Blakey, as a once champion side begins to age rapidly.

  1. New pronunciation, same Orazio

Tonight, the commentators revealed that the iconic name of Orazio Fantasia has been pronounced incorrectly all along. In fact, Orazio’s surname is pronounced Fan-ta-see-ah, making for a slightly longer mouthful of a name. However, tonight there was no change in Fantasia’s best, who booted three goals very early, finishing with four for the night. Like Blakey, Fantasia found himself constantly around the footy and always looked dangerous with ball in hand. Playing both in front of the sticks and in the middle Orazio is a serious weapon and will yet again be a serious trade target for clubs in his home state of South Australia come season’s end.

  1. Properly entertaining Friday Night footy is the best way to spend the evening

This for me, was the best game of Friday night footy all year barring only Collingwood and Geelong’s round one classic. Both sides played the fast and hard footy that appeals to fans of both clubs and the neutral alike, so there was plenty to like about the contest on Friday night. Although the match wasn’t high scoring it felt like it was, with lead changes and great momentum swings throughout the game. It all came down to a monster David Myers kick from outside fifty that didn’t quite make the distance, giving the Swans a more than crucial five-point win. These two sides have played a lot of classics over the years and this one was no exception.

  1. The Bombers haven’t quite got their tall timber sorted

Zac Clarke was offered a lifeline this year by Essendon and from what I’ve seen this season it hasn’t really worked. Bellchambers was beaten by Sinclair in the ruck tonight too and without Joe Daniher in the side the Bombers midfielders just kept bombing the footy in long hoping to find a target. The Swans taller and bigger bodied defenders always looked like keeping the ball off the smaller Essendon forwards and so for future matches, the Dons will need to look to get some consistency with their talls and compete against bigger defenders.

  1. There’s hope, but not a lot

The Swans now find themselves two and six and still staring at a wasted season. Having said that, in 2017 the Swans did lose their first six matches before making the finals, that was a massive achievement and if they were to do it again it would be of a similar magnitude. Tonight was the best I had seen the Swans play all year, but it still won’t be enough against the Premier teams of 2019. As for Essendon, they have now lost seven consecutive matches at the SCG and are sitting three wins and five losses a fair way outside the eight. Essendon will need to drag themselves into some form before their bye, with Fremantle, Richmond and Carlton to come. Both teams look like they might be missing the mark of playing in September this year, but never say never in footy.

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SYDNEY      2.6   6.8   9.9   11.11 (77)
ESSENDON  2.3   7.3   8.6   10.12 (72)

Sydney: Dawson 2, Fox, Blakey, Florent, Papley, Heeney, Reid, O’Riordan, McCartin, Hayward
Essendon: Fantasia 4, Parish 2, Bellchambers, Merrett, Stringer, McKenna

Sydney: Parker, Hewett, Kennedy, Sinclair, Rampe, Blakey
Essendon: Hurley, Heppell, Merrett, McGrath, Hooker

Sydney: Nil
Essendon: Michael Hurley (ankle)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Meredith, Gianfagna, Mollison

Official crowd: 26,502 at the SCG

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