Bombers players look dejected following the round 16 match between Geelong and Essendon at the MCG, June 29, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

A "SERIES of unfortunate events" in the third term and a subsequent loss of composure cost Essendon dearly in its 45-point loss to Geelong, according to Bombers coach Brad Scott.

Two separate incidents – an apparent missed arm-chop free kick to Sam Draper in forward 50, and a harsh deliberate rushed behind call against Jye Menzie – led to Cats majors amid a five-goal third term that broke the game open.

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"We clearly lost momentum in the third quarter through a series of unfortunate events, and then we didn't – we weren't set up behind the ball, we got transitioned, you don't get a scoring opportunity and it goes down the other end and [the Cats] score," Brad Scott said.

"We just had a patch there where we lost total control of the game. Now, that can happen through a variety of factors, what I'm most disappointed about is we lost momentum, then we lost composure.


"We couldn’t regain the momentum, we couldn't stabilise the game. That's the most disappointing part. For the most part this year – because things go against you in a game of footy all the time, whether it's the opposition doing great things, or other things that happen that are outside your control, as frustrating as it is, there's nothing you can do about it.

"The only thing you can do is control your response to it, and our response tonight was really disappointing. A step back in that area for us, which has been really good so far this year. Our ability to regain composure after losing momentum in the third quarter compounded and made it worse. Not only did we not regain momentum, we couldn't even stem the momentum they had."


The Bombers coach said the club was unlikely to query the umpires' decisions with the AFL.

"If I thought it would help. If there's been a change in rule, then I'll seek clarification, but I suspect what'll happen is they'll say, 'sorry, it was a mistake'," Brad Scott said.

"We can't change it, we can't control it, so that's our lesson. Can we do anything about it? I'll only seek clarification on something if I think it's going to be a concern going forward. But I don't think you need to direct that question to me."


Geelong coach Chris Scott may have been quietly relieved to secure four points given his side had only recorded one win in the past seven games. After a hot start to the season followed by a slump, the Cats are now still firmly in the finals race.

"I thought we played well. A bit similar to some games in the past few months where we were outplayed in patches, but I think if you're more than a casual observer, you'd see that across the competition," Chris Scott said.


"The competition's so tight that even (Patrick) Dangerfield coming back – last week was a bit of a sighter after missing a fair bit of footy (hamstring injury) – he looked a lot more like himself, so I think he was probably symptomatic about where we're trying to get to.

"We've got some good guys who've just been a little bit off. We had a bad one against Carlton and a bad one against Gold Coast, the others were pretty tight. I don't think we'd ever, hand on heart, say we got sucked into saying we were going that badly. But it's our job to look a little bit deeper than the win-loss."

Five-time All-Australian defender Tom Stewart was unleashed as an inside midfielder – having spent time on the wing this year – and starting at centre bounces, before pushing behind the ball at times.


"The move makes sense to me. I hold him in such high regard, I even joked with him if we decided to play him as a small forward, he'd probably be the best small forward in the comp, in my opinion. He's just got great attributes and great attitude to his footy," Chris Scott said.

"I don't think he's been shooting the lights out, but he's been going much better than I sense people think he's been going.

"The way I think about Tom's game is we want him to maximise his attributes. But that's the way I think about the game anyway, I'm not a believer that there's a right way to play the game and you have to force your players into that mode. We believe we look at what we've got, and we try and get the right players into their best spots."

Chris Scott said the subbed-out Mitch Duncan suffered cramp, while Ollie Henry, who missed the match with a minor hamstring issue, should be fine to face Hawthorn next week.