AFL 3 years ago

Doing the Maths – Round 18 Essendon V Western Bulldogs

  • Doing the Maths – Round 18 Essendon V Western Bulldogs
  • Doing the Maths – Round 18 Essendon V Western Bulldogs
  • Doing the Maths – Round 18 Essendon V Western Bulldogs

Ex-Bomber, Stewart Crameri did a number on Essendon’s young Ariel Steinberg on Sunday. Scoring 7 goals and 2 behinds, he actually outscored Essendon. But what do the other numbers say? Is there anything Essendon can salvage from this loss?

Scoring wise, 5 goals 10 behinds 40 points is low. Essendon’s scoring woes are well documented but despite the ongoing struggles, round 18 was unusually low. In contrast, the Doggies scored 19 goals, 13 behinds, totalling 127 points. To put some analysis in, the Doggies scored with an accuracy of 59% while the Bombers wasted their meagre chances on only 33% accuracy.

It gets worse when you consider the inside 50 efficiency; only 37% for Essendon (15 shots, 41 entries) and 51% for the Dogs (32 shots, 63 entries). So bad was Essendon’s performance in front of the sticks that only 12% of entries were a goal compared to the Dogs 30%. By the numbers alone, this game was worse than the St. Kilda game in Round 14.

It doesn’t get better when you look at the other numbers. 426 disposals to 386 (albeit Essendon slightly more efficient at 79% DE vs. 77% DE), less contested possession (125 to 138) and 4 less clearances. This is a terrible result for Essendon when you consider their plan to bring in Jonathan Giles to provide some ascendance in the middle. Not only did Essendon only manage 5 hit outs more than the opposition, despite Giles experience over young Tom Campbell, despite this they lost the clearances by 4.

After the match, James Hird candidly admitted that “the whole football club should be disappointed in that result”. Hird stressed what he and the coaching staff were looking for in the side stating “you can miss kicks, you can miss marks, handballs can be off, but you have to be competitive and you have to want to be up for the contest.”

These comments were particularly stressed because even pressure was down, the tenacious Bulldogs laying 8 tackles more. When a team has 40 more disposals than its opposition to also lay 8 tackles more is very telling of how the game flowed. Put simply, Essendon were slow and appeared tired while the Bulldogs looked like a team prepared to play finals football.

Even the coach was not sugar coating his disappointment in the team, “if you’re not up for the contest then you won’t play” and “some players from today won’t play next week”.

Thoughts? Put them in the comments below.

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