Essendon VFL skipper Aaron Heppell says sticking to the basics helped the Bombers overrun Geelong by 42 points at the MCG on Sunday.

It was a slow and contested opening half, before the Bombers found some rhythm after the main break to kick eight of the next 13 goals.

“We just focused on playing our roles today,” Heppell said.

“It’s pretty exciting playing out on the ‘G, which can sometimes mean that guys go away from playing their role, but I think everyone did exactly that (stuck to their role) and we walked away with the points.

“(In the second half) we went back to the basics – not trying to do anything too flashy.”

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Heppell was involved in some key passages of play early, including some strong intercept marks and crunching tackles that really set the Bombers’ standard.

He finished with 15 disposals, eight tackles and four marks to his name, leading from the forefront in just his third home-and-away match as captain.

Heppell was impressed by debutants Liam Read and Josh Tynan, who he felt did what was required of them, especially when tall Sam Draper didn’t return after half-time.

“(Missing Draper) did have a bit of an effect on the boys, but Liam came in for his first game and played his role really well so that’s all we can ask,” he said.

“It was a pretty exciting story for Josh, who hasn’t played footy in two years with some concussion stuff so it’s great to see him back out on the park.”

This weekend’s preliminary final rematch against Casey is sure to bring back some memories from last season, but Heppell has confidence in the group to get the job done this time around.

“Casey are always a very tough opposition. They beat us in a final last year so I guess we owe them a little bit,” he said.

“We’ll be coming out firing to beat them in that game for sure.”

The first bounce will be at 2pm on Saturday, May 11 at Windy Hill.

Essendon VFLW’s season opener against Casey will act as the curtain raiser, starting from 11am.

Brooke Varney is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.