Essendon great Scott Lucas puts the eight point loss against Brisbane down to the Dons pressure around the contest.
The Bombers gave up a 27 point lead in the final term to the fast finishing Lions at Etihad stadium on Sunday.
“If you look at the game and what went wrong, for me, it was in and around the contest,” Lucas said.
“We had poor ball use going inside 50, poor decisions but then on the flipside the ball came out too easily so they weren’t able to lock it in and that pressure needed to be greater yesterday.
“I think they got the game back on their (Lions) terms at the contest.
“Despite denying Essendon the contested marks, the boys were four goals up. From there you would expect them to close out and have a good win.
“I thought that was one significant factor throughout the course of the day – that ball movement from the back half and lack of pressure, the ball came in and straight out.”
In Essendon’s 70 point win over Port Adelaide in round 12, the Bombers had 150 contested possessions, significantly higher than Sunday’s game with 131.
“Brisbane did a very good job at taking away from the boys what they wanted to do with the uncontested marks which has been a key feature in the Bombers game and just the way that they want to move the ball,” he said.
“Well done to Brisbane on that but at the same time the boys earlier in the last quarter were four goals up so from there you should be able to close it out.
“Brisbane was very good late in the game, got the game on their terms and then it was played in their forward half.
“Prior to that the boys were very good, (they had) an extra 18 inside 50s for the game but just didn’t convert those opportunities.”
Essendon dominated the inside 50s, racking up 61 to Brisbane’s 43 but were unable to convert on the scoreboard.
The quick transition of the ball coming out of the Dons forward didn’t allow time for the midfielders to reposition themselves in a defensive role.
“Your midfield work really hard to get a forward 50 entry so there is an element of fatigue attached to that,” Lucas said.
“What you want is some level of pressure coming out of your forward 50, it just slows the ball movement, but the ball went in and it came out far too quickly and therefor the boys got caught out.
“Transition can certainly be better and the defence can pick up and respond to that but at the same time the number one factor was lack of forward pressure.
“Early on I thought the entries were quite good.
“Some shots that the boys would’ve expected to kick – they didn’t so at quarter time they could’ve been further in front.
“From then on the entries weren’t great.”
The Bombers returned to the training track on Monday morning to begin preparation for their clash with Collingwood on Saturday.
“A strong week on the track is always important in preparing, taking out of the weekend’s game what you can – ways that you can get better, and then put that into practice on the weekend,” he said.
“The scoreboard was more a reflection of what happened at the contest, rather than the boys going into their shells and it just not happening for them.
“They just got beaten around the ball.
“If they can correct that then the game will be played in their forward half and it will be much harder for the opposition to score.”
Source: Essendon FC’s website