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Talking points v Saints

Simon Conway  July 16, 2017 4:19 PM

BTV: RD 17 | Highlights Highlights of our Round 17 win against the Saints.

Seven-minute blitz

A burst of goals in the early stages of the third quarter saw the Bombers establish a match winning lead over the Saints.

After early misses to both sides to start the second half, the Dons piled on four goals between the five-minute mark and the 12-minute mark.

It stretched the lead out to 50 points in the blink of an eye. All four goals came from forward half turnovers highlighting the importance of the defensive pressure the Bombers can apply inside 50. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti laid five tackles in the match to lead the way for Hayden Skipworth’s forward group.

Early misses don’t come back to bite

The Bombers controlled much of the tempo throughout the first half but missed several opportunities to convert in front of goal. The Saints had their struggles in front of goal too and at one stage the score was 4.9.33 to 1.4.10.

Joe Daniher was Essendon’s most reliable set shot in the first half. He had three straight on the board and finished with four.

Despite the Dons looking the better side, the margin was only 15 points in the shadows of half time. But late second quarter goals to David Zaharakis and Josh Green gave the side the advantage it deserved.

Defensive wall

St Kilda was coming off a 21-goal performance against Richmond, but the potency in attack was nowhere to be seen against the Dons. By half time, the Saints had two goals on the board and at the last change they had only booted four.

The Saints had won their last four matches had booted at least 12 goals in 11 games this season, but the Bombers restricted them to seven.

Josh Bruce and Nick Riewoldt were held to a goal each as Michael Hartley and Michael Hurley nullified their influence, while Mark Baguley, Martin Gleeson, Andrew McGrath, Conor McKenna and James Kelly held the Saints group of fleet footed forwards to just three goals between them.

Joe Daniher

The agility, pace, leap and confidence in front of goal was all on display in another commanding performance from Joe Daniher.

The star forward finished with four goals, 14 disposals and nine marks including two screamers in the goal square over teammate Jake Carlisle.

Daniher now has 45 goals for the season, the most by a Bomber since Matthew Lloyd booted 62 in 2008.

The 23 year old has kicked at least a goal every game and has booted 28.10 since the Melbourne match where he kicked 1.6.

Zach Merrett

The reigning Crichton Medal winner was at his prolific best against the Saints finishing with 37 possessions, six clearances, five inside 50s and ten tackles.

Saints tagger Koby Stevens spent parts of the night on Merrett, but there was no slowing down the 21 year old.

Merrett, Daniher and Brendon Goddard are auctioning the boots they wore during the game in an effort to raise money for people suffering multiple sclerosis. Merrett’s mother suffers from the condition. Click here to donate, bid or find out more.

Ball use out of defence

Retaining possession from the first kick out of the defensive 50 has become crucial in today’s game. The Dons have had their moments in that area, with the match against Richmond earlier this season a low point.

But against St Kilda, the Dons the precision out of the back half cut through the Saints forward half pressure and enabled the Dons to get the ball into an open forward line.

Michael Hartley (18 disposals), Michael Hurley (27 disposals) and Andrew McGrath (23 disposals) used the ball at an efficiency rate of 100 per cent, while Martin Gleeson went at 95 per cent.