Captain Joe Atley (right) and Joel Fitzgerald leave the field after the Bombers' loss to the Magpies. (Photo: Nathan Whytcross)

Essendon is still in search of it first VFL win of the season after falling to a 58-point loss to Collingwood at Windy Hill on Anzac Day.

The Bombers started brightly in a tight first half, but were overpowered after half-time in the 10.13 (71) to 20.11 (131) defeat.


Having been comprehensively beaten in possession in recent weeks, the Bombers were at least able to match the Magpies in disposals (345-346) and marks (71-78), but couldn't contain the visitors' attacking forays.

The Magpies scored from 31 of their 57 inside 50s, with small to medium-sized forwards Trent Bianco, Sam Fowler, Jacob Booth and Oliver Henry combining for 14 goals.

From an AFL perspective, there were positives to take out of the loss.

Category B rookie Tom Hird produced an eye-catching performance, racking up 26 touches, eight marks and kicking 2.3 to be one of the Bombers' best. 


Omitted veteran Devon Smith collected 28 disposals, while Brayden Ham ran hard to finish with 27 and eight tackles and Zach Reid was solid with 17 touches and eight marks.

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked two goals from 15 touches as he continues to work his way back to full fitness, while Nick Bryan dominated the ruck with 32 hitouts.

Alex Hird, who graduated from the club's James Hird Academy, kicked a goal and had nine disposals and three tackles in his VFL debut.

Tom Hird presents younger brother Alex Hird with his guernsey on debut. (Photo: Nathan Whytcross)

The Bombers now turn their attention to round six, where they'll face Footscray at VU Whitten Oval from 11:35am on Sunday.

ESSENDON  1.2  7.3  8.8  10.13 (73)
COLLINGWOOD  4.1  8.4  14.8  20.11 (131)

Goals: T. Hird 2, McDonald-Tipungwuti 2, Anderson, Archard, Conforti, Eyre, Golds, A. Hird

Disposals: Smith 28, Ham 27, T. Hird 27, Fitzgerald 20, Atley 19, McDonagh 19