AFL NAB Challenge Live Essendon Bombers vs Geelong Cats Stream AFL NAB Football 2016 Online, AFL NAB Cup Week 02 Essendon Bombers vs Geelong Cats will be kick off at Deakin Reserve Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. Saturday 05 March 2016 online, 14: 05 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Seven, Foxtell.
The Bombers have come under plenty of scrutiny over the pre-season, with many forecasting an ugly year for the red and the black. With the caveat that pre-season games are always to be taken with a grain of salt, Essendon’s patchwork side put on an impressive performance in their 10-goal win over the inexperienced Blues. David Zaharakis (101 Ultimate Footy fantasy points) was dominant with 28 disposals, suggesting he is ready to take the reins in the midfield. Also impressive were a number of their top-up players: Sam Michael was solid in the ruck with 15 hit-outs and 60 points, Jonathan Simpkin found the ball easily with 17 disposals and Ryan Crowley looked comfortable in his new half-forward role with 77 points of his own.
Jaeger O’Meara has been one of the brightest young stars in the competition for several years now, yet injuries continue to plague the Gold Coast midfielder. A ruptured patella tendon cruelled his 2015 season before it properly began, at a point where many felt the explosive Sun was ready to take the next step. His long-awaited comeback has now been delayed even further by a recent arthroscope on the same knee, although the line from the club is that the knee is structurally sound. Fantasy coaches will be keenly watching how he will go in his fourth year in the league, having averaged an incredible 89 in his debut season and then an even more impressive 93 the following year.
Two sides with no shortage of optimism heading into the year are the Cats and the Pies – and with good reason. Both picked up some key recruits, namely Paddy Dangerfield for Geelong and Adam Treloar for Collingwood. Naturally, when the two sides met (albeit without one half of the star duo, Treloar), there were plenty of reasons to be excited.
Dangerfield was at his destructive best, finishing with 28 possessions, three goals and 105 points. The consistent Steele Sidebottom also added 28 touches of his own, to go with an impressive 119 points. Alex Fasolo, who enjoyed a resurgence last season, was also on fire with five goals and 113 points. Perhaps the most exciting performance of the game was that of the powerfully built Jordan de Goey, who appears ready to cement himself as a young star of the competition in only his second season. After playing 16 games in his debut year and averaging 62 points, de Goey showed his immense potential with 24 disposals and 102 points, setting Pies’ hearts aflutter with visions of what could be.
Avoid injuries. It is a simple goal, yet it is the No. 1 thing every side is striving to do during pre-season. Neither the Eagles nor the Suns managed to adhere to that rule, as both sides saw a number of players fall victim. Gold Coast lost two former first-round draft picks, with emerging clearance specialist Jesse Lonergan injuring his ankle and the sublimely talented Jarrod Garlett hurting his shoulder, both of whom are pushing to make a big impact this season. Meanwhile, West Coast lost a key contributor in ex-Swan Lewis Jetta, who looked superb in the first quarter with eight disposals before injuring his calf. They also lost dour defender Mitch Brown, who is already coming back from a knee injury, with a finger problem. Some may not be forced to miss regular-season games, but any missed time in pre-season can cause lingering issues down the track.
Essendon Bombers: 7. Zach Merrett, 8. Martin Gleeson, 11. David Zaharakis, 12. Mark Baguley, 13. Orazio Fantasia, 14. Jason Ashby, 15. Courtenay Dempsey, 17. Adam Cooney, 19. Shaun Edwards, 20. Jackson Merrett, 24. Craig Bird, 25. Alex Morgan, 28. Mitch Brown, 29. Patrick Ambrose, 30. Kyle Langford, 33. Jayden Laverde, 34. Jake Long, 36. Michael Hartley, 38. Nick Kommer, 41. Will Hams, 42. James Gwilt, 43. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, 44. Shaun McKernan, 45. Conor McKenna, 49. Matt Dea, 52. Jonathan Simpkin, 53. Mark Jamar, 54. Sam Grimley, 56. Sam Michael
Notable absentees: James Kelly, Ryan Crowley, Brendon Goddard, Matthew Leuenberger
Geelong Cats: 1. Rhys Stanley, 3. Jimmy Bartel, 5. Nakia Cockatoo, 6. Lincoln McCarthy, 7. Harry Taylor, 8. Jake Kolodjashnij, 9. Zac Smith, 11. Darcy Lang, 13. Tom Lonergan, 17. Jock Cornell, 18. Josh Cowan, 21. Jordan Murdoch, 22. Mitch Duncan, 23. Josh Caddy, 25. Lachie Henderson, 26. Tom Hawkins, 28. Cory Gregson, 29. Cameron Guthrie, 30. Nathan Vardy, 32. Steven Motlop, 33. George Horlin-Smith, 35. Patrick Dangerfield, 36. Tom Ruggles, 37. Michael Luxford, 39. Shane Kersten, 40. Jackson Thurlow, 43. Zac Bates, 44. Corey Enright, 46. Mark Blicavs
Notable absentees: Joel Selwood, Scott Selwood, Mitch Clark, Jed Bews