R9 – Essendon v GWS – HB’s Loves and Hates

Late in the 2023 season, Jesse Hogan embarrassed the Bombers, as his GWS Giants put them to the sword and he kicked a career-high nine goals.

With a new big man in the Bombers’ defensive goal square, this year was supposed to be different. However, after about ten minutes of play in the first quarter, it seemed as though it didn’t matter who the Bombers recruited – Hogan looked like he was gearing up for another big day. He slipped the attention of Ben McKay several times and really, should have ended the first quarter with more than just the single goal.

In many ways, the McKay versus Hogan matchup mirrored the whole contest, with the Bombers defender working his way back into the game after the first break, before shutting Hogan down completely in the second half.

Just as Essendon shut down the GWS run along the same timelines.

With intelligent coaching (Matt Guelfi on Lachie Whitfield was a clear winner) and high pressure employed at the contest, the Bombers were able to swing the game in their favour, reeling in the Giants over the second and third quarters, before running out 20-point winners as the final siren sounded.

So, HB is an astute observer of the game. He sees things others may not… and misses things others see, if we’re being honest. What did he love about this game, and what did he hate?

Let’s jump in and find out.


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