Essendon has rebounded from last week's horror showing in emphatic style, defeating the Western Bulldogs by 29 points in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at Marvel Stadium.

The Bombers dominated the second half, running out 15.6 (96) to 9.13 (67) winners, with Essendon piling on 5.1 in the last quarter.

It's just the second time Essendon has come away with the four points against the Western Bulldogs in their past 11 meetings, and the Bombers stretched out to a 43-point lead before a few late Dogs goals.


Initially, it appeared as if the Dogs had the Dons for height, particularly in their forward line, with last week's Rising Star nominee – 208cm Sam Darcy – pushing high up the ground to be a key linking player.

BULLDOGS v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats

Early days, Essendon had struggled early to produce clean entries inside 50, but once the Bombers straightened up – forcing stoppages in attack and drawing free kicks – the goals flowed, easing out to a four-point lead at the first break.

You can't shut down a high-quality midfield for long, and the Dogs recorded the first six clearances of the second term, but failed to put the Bombers away properly, kicking 2.3.


Amid the skill errors and the oddly endemic slipping-over from both sides and umpires, Xavier Duursma and Jake Stringer produced two touches of class in quick succession, the former kicking truly from a distance (he enjoyed it so much he pulled out the bow and arrow) while the latter snapped sharply from the pocket.

Langford's second a few minutes later re-established Essendon's lead, putting paid to the Dogs' brief period of dominance. It was the last time Luke Beveridge's side had any serious momentum.


Jye Caldwell wore the in-form Tom Liberatore, limiting him somewhat to 25 disposals, but the tough Dog also recording a game-high nine clearances.

Sam Durham made a strong return from a week off with concussion, providing a physical presence around the contest with 21 and six clearances.

The MRO may look at a low bump from Tom Liberatore on Todd Goldstein as the two attempted to pick up the footy, with the Bomber's head accidentally being collected. A free kick was paid, with a subsequent 50m penalty for dissent.

Dons rebound from horror Power loss
After being comprehensively outplayed by Port Adelaide last week, losing by 69 points, Essendon had a week of scrutiny, with plenty written and spoken about the team's apparent lack of improvement. With a number of best-23 players sidelined – including Archie Perkins, Will Setterfield, Jordan Ridley, Dylan Shiel and Peter Wright – the Bombers stood up to the task, rucks Todd Goldstein and Sam Draper setting the tone from the middle of the ground.

WESTERN BULLDOGS       4.2     6.6     7.9      9.13     (67)
ESSENDON                       5.0     8.2     10.5     15.6     (96)

Western Bulldogs: Ugle-Hagan 3, West 2, Naughton 2, Vandermeer, Darcy
Essendon: Langford 3, Jones 2, Stringer 2, Duursma 2, Goldstein, Caldwell, Martin, A. Davey, Gresham, Durham 

Western Bulldogs: Treloar, Macrae, Ugle-Hagan, Richards, Liberatore
Essendon: Durham, Merrett, Duursma, Langford, Goldstein, Caldwell

Western Bulldogs: Nil
Essendon: Nil

Western Bulldogs: Bailey Dale (replaced Ryley Sanders in the third term)
Essendon: Nick Hind (replaced Jye Menzie at three-quarter time)

 Crowd: 50,144 at Marvel Stadium