Ben Rutten was disappointed in the result but proud of his players' response on Anzac Day. (Photo: AFL Photos)

While disappointed with the result, senior coach Ben Rutten says Essendon took a step forward in its 11-point Anzac Day defeat to Collingwood.

Rutten was pleased with the response on the biggest stage of the home and away season, after the Bombers were forensically examined by all sections of the football world last week, following a listless fade out against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium.

"Look I thought the way we turned up today and our response from last week, from our second half last week in particular, I was pretty proud of the way we went about our work throughout the week. We reflected really hard and had a look at the areas that we needed to bounce back in," Rutten said.

"I thought for the majority of the day today it was at a pretty good level. From a results point of view, we are disappointed, certainly. We have certainly taken a step forward.

"We're on a journey to get better. Over the course of the season we're going to continue to improve. It's not going to be a linear graph. There are going to be some hiccups along the way, which last week was, but we'll just keep continuing to grow our game, move forward and get experiences like today."


2021 All Australian Darcy Parish backed up his Anzac Day Medal winning performance last year with another dazzling display, this time finishing with 44 disposals – the most ever on Anzac Day – and 12 clearances, including seven from the centre square to finish behind Jack Ginnivan in the votes.

The star midfielder Darcy Parish finished the game on the ground despite suffering an ankle injury and will be monitored throughout the week.

Darcy Parish was again prolific on Anzac Day with 44 touches. (Photo: AFL Photos)

"He has a bit of an ankle. I think it got caught and tangled up in a tackle. He came off had it looked at, was good enough to go back on, but we'll need to assess that over the next couple of days and see how it settles down," Rutten said.

The Bombers, who now sit at 1-5 and in the bottom four, will look to return to the winner's list when they face the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

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