Essendon coach Brad Scott was thrilled with how his team had grinded out its second victory for the season, having defeated Hawthorn in its opening match.

"I think sometimes the gritty wins are internally some of the best. The thing I was probably most pleased about today was the effort and intent, in front of 45-odd thousand of our supporters, to see that effort and intent that really want to make a hallmark of our game," Scott said.


"That can be easy when things are going your way, and I was probably looking for a reset button three minutes into the game, we were a bit all over the place. Perhaps in the past, according to some of the players, they might have dropped their bundle, that this isn't our day today.

"Later in the game – this isn't a comment on the decision or anything – the (Jake) Stringer free kick and 50, and goal to St Kilda, 12-point turnaround, the thing I focused on was how do we get back into the contest and focus on what we can control."


Essendon struggled with its composure and skill execution in the first half, battling under enormous St Kilda pressure, and it took a ripping Stringer goal from a tight angle to win the game.

"I thought the game was on a bit of a knife's edge. We don't coach skill errors on gameday. In the coaches' box, we can be – that's not to say we don't get frustrated and disappointed, it's how quickly we can get our heads back in the game as a coaching group and not become barrackers, focus on what we can control," Scott said.

"We made some adjustments at half-time, but largely we thought it was a really good contest and it was going to be the team who could persist the longest who would get over the line.

"It's something about those sorts of players – you never want to bet against them, put it that way. That was good reward for Jake, but I was more impressed with his effort and intent, when the game was hot, he was really strong in the contest, when the game was broken out into open space, he chased with intent. They're the things we're looking for from Jake."