FOR A GAME originally scheduled for Marvel Stadium, moved to the Gabba and then played at the MCG, Sydney and Essendon put on one hell of a show.
It was a freewheeling affair that saw 33 goals kicked between the two sides, including 23 after half-time in a mostly goal-for-goal fashion.
BOMBERS v SWANS Full match coverage and stats
Sydney emerged victors by seven points, and coach John Longmire was thrilled at how his team had handled the upheaval.
"We've had a seven-week stint (on the road). In a few hours, we packed up everything and moved (from Queensland). We were tested late at night, and our ability to get over that was great," Longmire said.
"We felt earlier in the game we were a bit off, if you look at all of our indicators, we just took a little time to get going, and you can probably put a bit of that down to everything that's been going on.
"Our ability to then switch into our mode and get the win was fantastic. It was just a really mature performance when we weren't playing that well. Fortunately, we were in striking distance at half-time, and we were able to find a way when we weren't at the top of our game, we were able to get going and do what we had to do."
The Swans are drawn to play St Kilda at Marvel Stadium, but Longmire is none the wiser what the team's week will involve in this ever-changing season.
"I'm not sure what's going to happen tonight, let alone tomorrow. I'm sure you can understand that, we just don't know, we've got no idea," Longmire said.
"At the moment we're down here, we're in Melbourne and I don't know if it'll change or not, but at the present time, that's what we're looking at.
"Our families are still back in Queensland, but I think our players and staff have been just super at the way they're applying themselves to the task at hand."
It was two relatively happy coaches at the conclusion of the game, with Essendon leader Ben Rutten far from disappointed at his side's output.
"We came here to win, and in some respects, I think we did enough to win the game, but probably still a little too much cost in our game, which probably undoes a bit of our good work," Rutten said.
"But overall, the way we played today, I much rather that than the last couple of weeks where I don't think we were at our best and playing the brand of footy that we've started to show across the majority of our season so far.
"I was pleased with the effort and output, which I have been all season, but Sydney are obviously one of the real in-form teams in the competition at the moment, well-balanced team across the board, there's no shame in losing to them."
Rutten was proud of Jayden Laverde's efforts against Lance Franklin, playing most of the second half with an injured right shoulder and holding the champion to two goals.
But the key defender's substitution with around five minutes remaining revealed the Bombers had reached their maximum interchange rotations, and there was some confusion before Brayden Ham was allowed onto the field.
"I think we had one or two left, and then Jayden copped another knock on his shoulder and couldn't keep going. We just had to get the paperwork done to get the sub through," Rutten said.
"Did 'Hammy' get on in the end? I should have known, I was down there. We were trying to work out who we wanted to get off to get Hammy on and try and create something. It wasn't ideal to do all that in the last minutes, but that's kind of what happened."