Cameron Ling rains on Essendon’s parade after Bombers’ stunning last quarter burst beat Hawthorn

‘Explain to me why this was a win for the ages’: Cameron Ling rains on Essendon’s parade after Bombers’ stunning last quarter burst beat Hawthorn

  • Essendon came back from 25 points down to beat Hawthorn on Saturday
  • Bombers had lost six of their opening seven games going into Round 8
  • Peter Wright kicked six majors in Essendon’s 108-81 win over the Hawks
  • The Bombers kicked eight goals in a stunning fourth quarter blitz
  • But Cameron Ling believes praise for the Bombers was exaggerated

Essendon reigned their season with a comeback win against Hawthorn on Saturday, but Cameron Ling isn’t buying into the hype yet.

The Bombers lost six of their first seven games this season looking a pale imitation of the side that surprisingly made the finals last year went into the clash at Marvel Stadium without five players because of illness.

Essendon’s season looked to be going from bad to worse as they trailed by 25 points deep into the third quarter, before booting eight majors in a stunning fourth quarter blitz to win 108-81.

Essendon came back from 25 points down to beat Hawthorn 108-81 on Saturday

The win was hailed as a potential turning point for the Bombers, but Ling suggested the reaction was way over the top.

‘It was a terrific win, well done to them. I do want to just have a couple of questions around the hyperbole that went off after the game,’ the three-time premiership winner said on Seven AFL’s podcast The AI ​​& Lingy Show.

‘Did I miss something? A few blocks pulled out before the game with a bit of a flu and they beat a team that won three games for the year. Someone explain to me why this is a win for the ages. Tone it down a little bit.’

Peter Wright booted six goals as the Bombers clinched only their second win of the season

Peter Wright booted six goals as the Bombers clinched only their second win of the season

Trailing deep into the third quarter, Essendon produced an eight-goal blitz in the final period

Trailing deep into the third quarter, Essendon produced an eight-goal blitz in the final period

Ben Hobbs and Zach Merrett celebrate in front of jubilant Bombers fans on Saturday night

Ben Hobbs and Zach Merrett celebrate in front of jubilant Bombers fans on Saturday night

Jordan Ridley, Matt Guelfi, Jake Kelly, Sam Durham and Alec Waterman were all picked in the starting 22 but were too unwell to play.

Durham withdrew two hours before the game and several others, including ruckman Sam Draper, were affected throughout the week.

The flurry of withdrawals forced the Bombers to call on Devon Smith as a replacement just days after ruling him out for two weeks because of a knee injury.

Ling, however, insisted Essendon had more than enough talent at their disposal to overcome Hawthorn, who had won three of their opening seven games this season ahead of Saturday.

But Cameron Ling (right) insisted the significance of the Bombers' win was overblown

But Cameron Ling (right) insisted the significance of the Bombers’ win was overblown

‘This is a team that has [Zach] Merrett, [Darcy] parish [Dylan] Shiel, Devon Smith, Jye Caldwell – a high draft pick – Dyson Heppell , Peter Wright and Aaron Francis,’ he said.

‘Playing against a team that consisted of [Jackson] callow, [Connor] macdonald, [Max] lynch, [Josh] ward, [Lachlan] brambles [Finn] magic, [Dylan] bogs, [Will] day, [Jai] newcombe, [Denver] Grainger-Barass and [Jacob] Koschitzke.

‘No disrespect to them but they have barely played footy. It’s a bunch of kids or blocks who have played under 20 or 30 games. This wasn’t the greatest win ever.’

The Bombers moved up to 16th on the ladder following the win over the Hawks, with only the hapless North Melbourne and West Coast below them.

The win relieved pressure on Ben Rutten, who was without five players due to illness

The win relieved pressure on Ben Rutten, who was without five players due to illness

Whether the comeback against Hawthorn will be enough to kickstart their season remains to be seen, as Essendon face a very difficult draw over the next five weeks which includes four games against current top-eight teams.

The Bombers travel to Sydney to face the Swans on Saturday, before a blockbuster clash against Richmond at the MCG in Round 10 and back-to-back games Carlton and St Kilda on June 10 and June 17.

A resurgent Port Adelaide, which have won the last three games in a row, is the only team currently not in the top-eight that Essendon play in the next five weeks, when they travel to Adelaide in Round 11.

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