After what appeared to be a decisive win over St Kilda on lap 14 at the time, Essendon fell back to earth on Friday night as he fell to the west coast.
The 10-point loss showed the best and worst of the developing squad on a 14-day rollercoaster, but dealt a hard blow to loyal Bombers supporters who may have thought their club had turned a corner.
SENs Gerard Whateley was just one to find the performance disappointing, given the exploits of the previous week.
“I feel bitterly disappointed that Essendon has not backed up what they did last Friday night,” he said SEN’s Crunch Time†
“They got all the right praise, and it seemed to open up the possibilities for them. They were a big topic last week, but Kane Cornes had (suggestion), ‘make sure you do it again, we’ll give you the stamp,’ but make sure you do it again’, and they didn’t.”
Despite the final margin, Essendon never seemed to have a real chance of winning, despite dominating in the 50s 52-48.
They also won evictions and disputed possessions; but the defense broke, not for the first time in the year.
“They never won in the second half, Essendon,” Whateley added.
“(West Coast) They would always score the goal that would keep the buffer and every time they were challenged they would restore the buffer.
“Essendon kicked the last two goals to make it look maybe a little tidier than it could be.”
Meanwhile, four-time premiership Hawk Luke Hodge suggested Eagles coach Adam Simpson do his homework on the Bombers.
Last week they kicked 107 points, their highest score for the year in the 35-point win, Ben Ruttten got a smooth ball movement not seen from his side this year.
They went within 50 against the Saints at 57.4 percent, but that number fell more than ten percent to 46.4 on Friday night.
“Yeah, that’s hard for a younger team and a developing team,” Hodge said.
“I know we shot past Essendon at the start of the year and they didn’t play football to their standards or anyone else but what we saw last week was so exciting and I think that’s what West Coast would have focused on .
“West Coast has a lot of senior players and if you look at who they brought in in the last two weeks… all those senior players are back.
“If I were Adam Simpson, I have no doubt that his focus was solely on slowing Essendon’s ball movement, because that’s what made them so exciting last week.
“It was a struggle, but they crossed the line.”
West Coast climbed from the bottom of the ladder with the win at home, with Essendon finishing 16th in the league.