Essendon Line Coach Guy McKenna says the Bombers output in the second half against Geelong was much improved.
The Bombers were beaten by 87 points against the Cats in Shepparton with the temperature soaring in to the high 30’s.
After failing to kick a goal in the first half, the Dons booted three after the break.
“After half-time the boys cracked in and matched the Geelong boys for their contested ball and hard ball gets, and in and around the stoppages,” McKenna said.
“In the first half we were obliterated. If you control the inside ball, you control the outside ball.
“If you don’t turn up to play, you’re going to get a result like we did in the first half.”
Essendon will assess the fitness of its playing group before deciding what line-up it’ll take to Perth for the match against West Coast next week.
“As a coaching group we’ll assess where the boys tanks are at and see what we need to do to get right for round one,” McKenna said.
“The big focus for us is just getting these boys game time together, getting that chemistry so they can bond.”
The side was missing a number of key players including Brendon Goddard, Zach Merrett, Joe Daniher and David Zaharakis.
It gave an opportunity for some younger players to take on extra responsibility.
Will Hams and Marty Gleeson spent valuable time in the midfield, while second year player Kyle Langford was given the job on Geelong recruit Patrick Dangerfield.
“Pound for pound and body for body I thought he did a really good job,” McKenna said.
“He’s got 150-200 games experience on Langers, but I thought one-on-one he did a very manful job.”
Langford ended the game with 11 possessions and six tackles.