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Bombers’ late push falls short as West Coast lose a nine-game streak

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The West Coast Eagles broke a nine-game loss streak to knock out Essendon at Optus Stadium by 10 points.

There were plenty of new Eagles singing the song at home for the first time after performing in front of 40,933 fans.

Less than a month ago, Adam Simpson’s side were regularly beaten by more than 50 points, but a spirited performance against Geelong last week was followed by a decisive win on Friday night.

The result comes despite Essendon dominating the inside 50 count 58-42. The Eagles had 27 scoring shots, their efficiency within 50 nearly 20 percent higher than their season average in the impressive win.

Last week Essendon was praised for returning their defensive flair in choking a swift St Kilda outfit, but another brave but disappointing performance for the struggling club followed.

The visitors took an early lead and took a 22-point lead in the first quarter, but the Eagles regained the margin and had the better of the second half, despite a late push from Ben Rutten’s men.

Their intensity was there, beating the Eagles in contested possession and winning the tackle count, but not for the first time this year, Essendon was way too disjointed with moving the ball and defending.

Peter Wright had eight shots on target for four goals when he got the better of Tom Barrass, while Jack Stringer started three. However, there were few starring appearances.

Josh Kennedy, Willie Rioli, Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling and Liam Ryan all scored multiple goals when West Coast kicked 100+ points for the first time in 2022.

Essendon also scored their third highest score of the year with 97 points.

Despite the feel-good story for West Coast, which has fallen from the bottom of the ladder after their COVID and injury carnage, the headlines will focus on another disappointing performance from Essendon.

With Essendon conducting an internal review, losses like these will be an unwanted distraction for Rutten, who is fighting to prove he deserves to coach the squad long term.

The Bombers will face Sydney next week, while West Coast will once again act as outsiders in a bid to win consecutive games against Richmond in Round 16.

TOTAL SCORE

west coast: 3.3, 9.3, 13.6, 16.11. (107)

Essendon: 5.5, 7.10, 10.13, 14.13 (97)

GOALS

west coast: Kennedy 5, Rioli 3, Cripps 3, Darling 2, Ryan 2, Waterman

Essendon: Wright 4, Guelfi 2, Stringer 3 Jones 2, Martin 2, Perkins

BEST

west coast: Rioli, Hurn, Kennedy, Cripps, Yeo

Essendon: Merrett, Kelly, Shiel, Stringer, Wright

Injuries

west coast: N/A

Essendon: N/A





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