Gibbon him a go
Twin Liston Trophy winner Michael Gibbons is the poster-boy for the brand new supplemental choice interval guidelines, having solely lately been signed by Carlton after but once more been missed within the nationwide and rookie drafts.
Effectively this efficiency was a reasonably good commercial for the AFL’s scheme. The mature-ager from Williamstown performed a basic aim sneak’s recreation, coming up for 3 majors, taking part in an vital function in guaranteeing the Blues posted 100 factors, one thing they have not performed within the house and away season since mid-2016.
Whereas Shiel was stable earlier than the knock, Essendon’s midfield was well-beaten for a lot of the evening, though that was partly all the way down to the very fact David Myers and Tom Bellchambers didn’t play, whereas Devon Smith, Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett had been restricted to a half every.
A transparent constructive for the Dons, although, was their rebound from half-back. Slingshot objectives had been a characteristic of their recreation, and we are able to count on Adam Saad and Conor McKenna to maintain taking the sport on with the hope of discovering a person within the clear up ahead.
The mere proven fact that Joe Daniher was on the market was trigger for celebration from Essendon followers given he missed most of 2018 with osteitis pubis. However to see him lead as much as a Dyson Heppell centre break, take a commanding mark, and kick the sport’s first aim was a veritable sight for sore eyes. For the second, although, that’s just about all they needed to savour of the star ahead, with Daniher fading out of the sport from that time.
Given their lack of luck with accidents during the last couple of years – most notably the consecutive critical pre-season accidents suffered by Sam Docherty – the Blues in all probability thought they had been due a flip of excellent fortune. Hearts had been in mouths although when Charlie Curnow, arguably probably the most thrilling of their proficient kids, went down and clutched at his knee on the wing throughout the second quarter. For a couple of seconds, the worst was feared.
Then a coach got here out and began stretching Curnow’s leg. It seemed just like the high-flying ahead had simply skilled some cramp, not all that stunning given the sport had began in 35.9-degree warmth. The Blues took no dangers although, with Curnow sitting out the second half.
If the AFL’s new guidelines are going to have a dramatic affect on the sport then it wasn’t overly obvious on Thursday evening.
Whereas beginning positions at centre bounces allowed more room, and gamers grabbing the ball from the ruck made for a refreshing sight, the world hasn’t been turned the wrong way up. A high-scoring last quarter was nonetheless promising, though it is laborious to understand how a lot that needed to do with the principles and the way a lot it might be out all the way down to fatigue.
Daniel is an Age sports activities reporter.