Dons famous victory
Watch the highlights of the Bombers famous victory over the Adelaide Crows in Round 1.
1. Captain courageous steps up
With the ongoing ASADA investigation, Essendon skipper Jobe Watson has dealt with unprecedented pressure over what's been a tumultuous off-field pre-season for his club. But the reigning Brownlow Medallist was at his very best on Friday night, managing to put aside any external distraction to power his side to a memorable win while racking up 34 disposals. It was a magnificent effort from the 28-year-old who, as well as being the face of the club during one of the most difficult times in its history, must deal with the increased expectations a Brownlow brings. His celebration after a goal in the final minutes was one born from months of pent-up emotion.
2. Crows grounded
Despite getting off to a blinder with the first three goals and opening a 22-point lead early in the first quarter, Adelaide just couldn't match Essendon's poise on Friday night. Essendon hunted in packs and continually stuck tackles; the Bombers had 73 tackles to 47 for the home side, a stat that would no doubt worry Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson. To add to Sanderson's concern's, his side's new-look forward line failed to fire and missed a host of kickable opportunities, particularly in Essendon's six-goal second quarter, when the Crows kicked five behinds.
3. Diving's done
Alwyn Davey was the benefactor of the AFL's first free kick penalising a player diving into a contest. Adelaide's Brent Reilly dove and rolled over the ball deep in Essendon's forward line in the third term, and collided into Davey's shins. With the margin just 13 points in favour of the Bombers, Davey calmly converted the gift, his second major of the night. While the disapproval from the home crowd was proof the rule will take some getting used to by the game's fans, it was a textbook example of when umpires need to pay the free.
4. Crumbed Crameri delicious
With the ball kicked deep into Essendon's forward line early in the second term, Stewart Crameri crumbed his own dropped mark, twirled out of the ensuing contest and snapped truly. It was a remarkable moment of skill from the 24-year-old, and it sparked a 27-point turnaround as the Bombers spun a 13-point quarter-time deficit into a 14-point lead by the main break. While his stat-line was unimpressive (four disposals, one goal) before being substituted in the third term, Crameri's side didn't look back after his piece of brilliance.
5. Crowd celebrates rare mare
While football rivalry is uncompromising, there are characters that transcend it all. Superstar mare Black Caviar is one. Despite each goal on Friday night being met with cheers from one side's supporters and jeers from the other, every one of the 42,217 spectators at AAMI Stadium took time out at half time on Friday night to watch Black Caviar race to her 24th straight win in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley. The race was broadcast on AAMI Stadium's two super screens during the main break, and as the remarkable horse rounded the final turn and exploded down the straight, a collective gasp filled the air as she cruised home to another easy victory.