Star forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti says his seven-goal masterclass at the MCG on Saturday was the game of his life.
McDonald-Tipungwuti was simply dominant in Essendon’s outstanding 47-point victory over Brisbane, taking the game by the scruff of the neck throughout the afternoon.
Eternally humble, he gave credit to his teammates after the game in which the Bombers functioned brilliantly in the forward line.
“I kicked seven and it was my best career return, so I’m pretty happy with it, but you can’t kick seven without your teammates giving you the ball,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said post-match.
“I’m pretty happy with the day and pretty happy with a win too at the same time.”
It was a complete performance from McDonald-Tipungwuti, and few fans could argue to have seen a better game from a small forward in the red and black.
The 25-year-old’s bag of seven was a result of a typically outstanding work rate, seeing him finish the sensational game with 20 disposals, 12 score involvements, 10 marks, five inside 50s and 477 metres gained.
3 votes - A.McDonald-Tipungwuti pic.twitter.com/rHf6REuHm4— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) April 14, 2019
There are only a handful of players who can bring the fans to their feet as regularly as McDonald-Tipungwuti, and he said he is always grateful for the passionate Bomber fans.
“Having them getting us going every week, it’s good to have their support. It’s why we come and play footy.
“I really enjoy all of the supporters coming in and getting us up and going.”
The pint-sized goalkicker said he entered the game with a boost of confidence after a breakthrough effort against Melbourne last week yielded four goals.
He reached that mark midway through the third term this time around, and McDonald-Tipungwuti said encouragement from his teammates went a long way.
“For me it’s just about going and enjoying footy.
“‘Chook’ (Cale Hooker) earlier, when I’d kicked four, he was like ‘come on, you can do it, get another three’.
“It was another test, but I had that confidence that the boys gave me to just go and kick goals and really enjoy it.
“I can’t kick goals without the support of the boys, so it was really good.”
While the side was without key forward Shaun McKernan – who also booted four goals against the Demons – fellow tall Mitch Brown proved to be a brilliant replacement on Saturday.
McDonald-Tipungwuti praised Brown, who gathered 25 disposals, 11 marks, four inside 50s and three goals in a sensational performance.
“Browny came in and played his role; he played high, gave us a few contests and kicked a few goals.
“We miss Shauny, but we have players that can come in and play their role so that’s what we expect from every player.”
It really was a team effort in attack, with Jake Stringer (13 disposals, four inside 50s, three goal assists and a goal), Mark Baguley (10 disposals, four inside 50s, three goal assists and a goal) and Orazio Fantasia (14 diposals and two goals) also contributing greatly.
“I guess for us as forwards (the message is) just to share the load, it doesn’t matter who kicks seven or kicks four,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said.
“For us, it is just to go and do the team thing to help us win. I’m pretty happy with it overall, it was good teamwork in the end.”
Brisbane entered the game unbeaten with three impressive wins under their belt, and McDonald-Tipungwuti was pleased with Essendon’s confidence-boosting result.
“(We like to) play against the best and Brisbane are really good.
“We came out and played our footy, we’re really enjoying it again and I was happy to get the win.”
The Bombers’ next challenge will come next week when they take on North Melbourne on Good Friday in the Kick for the Kids game.