[close]

Depleted Dons down Saints in AFL clash

Essendon were too good for St Kilda despite losing Brendon Goddard and Adam Saad in the first quarter of their round 21 AFL clash.

Depleted Dons down Saints in AFL clash

Essendon were too good for St Kilda despite losing Brendon Goddard and Adam Saad in the first quarter of their round 21 AFL clash.

Essendon are counting the cost of their 43-point AFL win over St Kilda, after having no fit players on the bench for the last quarter.

Friday night's 18.14 (122) to 11.13 (79) win at Etihad Stadium mathematically keeps the Bombers in the finals hunt.


But they will end the regular season with massive assignments against frontrunners Richmond and then Port Adelaide away, plus they need other results going their way.

There are also likely to be at least a couple of casualties from Friday's win, with Brendon Goddard (knee) and Adam Saad (concussion) out of the game before quarter time.

Cale Hooker (knee) and Orazio Fantasia (hamstring) were also forced off in the third term.

Coach John Worsfold's early report is that Goddard will need a scan, Saad is wait and see, Hooker is confident he will be ready for the Tigers and they are unsure about Fantasia.

"There might be something there," Worsfold said about Fantasia, who already had hamstring injury earlier this season.

St Kilda defender Nathan Brown is also unlikely to play again this season after being suspended when his bump ironed out Saad.

Worsfold said the incident was disappointing and Saints coach Alan Richardson conceded "he was late" with the bump.

The Bombers coach praised his players for coping with having no interchange for the last quarter - five days after GWS had the same problem at the same venue.

"The players were wonderful, the way they understood what they had to do and what we asked for them, the way we wanted the game to be played as we slowly lost those players,"' Worsfold said.

St Kilda took it up to Essendon in the first half, leading late in the second term, but were once again found wanting when the opposition counter-attacked.

"We've had some issues with our use throughout the year, but that's as bad as we've used it, particularly from the back," Richardson said.

He said they conceded 13 goals from front-half turnovers.

"I can't make that point strongly enough - if you turn that ball over as often as we did ... close to goal, it's just demoralising. It saps energy," he said

Richardson added their midfielders had to take responsibility for not stopping Essendon's surge late in the second term, when they piled on four goals to take control.

"It was a period again where we just didn't step up and those players (midfielders), for the second week in a row, need to wear that," Richardson said.

"They're not shirking from that at all."

Livewire Bombers forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked two of those goals late in the second term and he was best afield with a career-best haul of five majors.

Essendon onballler Kyle Langford was also in agony when he left the field in the second term with a shoulder injury, but the he played out the match.

Seb Ross also shone for the Saints in his 100th game.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories