There’s a common thread to a whole heap of mooted player exchanges looming large over the 2018 off season. And it suggests players, their agents and many clubs are growing more sophisticated in how they deal with player exchange.
The Essendon Bombers have defeated the Brisbane Lions by 22 points at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon.
After a poor loss to Richmond last Saturday night, Essendon bounced back on a warm day in Brisbane, running out 4 goal winners in the end.
Kept a tight contest by some inaccurate goal kicking, the Bombers looked the better team on transition and threatened to kick away in the third quarter.
In the second term, Dyson Heppell ran into a brick wall in Luke Hodge and came off second best, leaving the ground with the blood-rule and not returning due to concussion.
Before this collision Heppell had kicked two goals from nine disposals, and got his team going early in the contest.
The game was marred by a total 26 behinds kicked between the two teams, many of these fairly simple set-shot opportunities.
Both teams made the easy look difficult, but the difficult look easy; a dribble shot from the boundary by Mitch Brown the best goal for the day.
Mason Redman played his first AFL game since his debut in 2016 and relished the opportunity, gathering 24 disposals and notching up his first win from four games in the red and black.
Jake Stringer (22 disposals, 3 goals, 9 tackles) and Zach Merrett (29 disposals, 8 tackles) stepped up in the absence of their skipper.
Harris Andrews was brilliant down back for the Lions, picking up 24 disposals, 12 marks and 20 spoils.
Dayne Zorko (20 disposals, 2 goals, 8 tackles) and Stefan Martin (22 disposals, 25 hitouts, 1 goal) battled all day for the Lions, but couldn’t get their team across the line.
Alex Witherden went down, clutching at his knee, but returned to the ground and finished with 29 disposals.
Dyson Heppell (concussion) and Devon Smith (right calf) are the concerns for Essendon coming out of this win, but should be okay off the ten day break.
Both teams have the bye next weekend, before Brisbane host the GWS Giants at the Gabba and Essendon travel to Perth for a clash with West Coast in round 14.
Brisbane Lions 8.14.62
Essendon Bombers 12.12.84