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Stewart's winning start

BTV: RD 8 | James Stewart post-game We caught up with James Stewart after his first game in the red & black.

James Stewart has opened his Essendon career with three goals and a win in front of almost 60,000 people at the MCG.

The Bombers beat the Cats by 17 points and Stewart’s three first half goals helped the Dons control the early going.

For the first time this season, the Bombers played three tall forwards with Stewart joining Cale Hooker and Joe Daniher in attack.

The trio kicked nine goals between them.

“It probably came down to the mix and structure up forward as to whether they (selection committee) wanted to play with three talls,” Stewart said.

“Fortunately tonight they did and I think it worked.

“To get that isolation, obviously one of us is going to have a pretty good match-up.

“We’ve got to buy into the pressure side of things as well.

“Definitely in the first half it was really positive and we’ll have a good look at that during the week."

Stewart played 18 games for GWS before crossing to the Bombers at the end of last year.

He featured prominently throughout the JLT Community Series but when the AFL season got underway, he was left out of the side.

The key forward produced a string of strong performances at the state league level and he said consistency was the key to earning his opportunity. 

“As long as I was doing that I was always putting my hand up for selection,” he said.

Stewart finished the match with 10 disposals, three marks, four tackles and three goals.