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Essendon thrash insipid Saints to record Ben Rutten’s first win

Archie Perkins showed on debut why he was so highly rated ahead of the national draft, attacking the contest like he had been playing senior football for several seasons.

Nik Cox was outstanding too, able to find time and space where little appeared to exist, regularly finding a teammate.

Alec Waterman gets a handball away.

Alec Waterman gets a handball away.Credit:Getty Images

Harrison Jones, in just his third game, dragged the goalkicking monkey from his back when he converted a set shot from 40 metres in the second quarter and pre-season supplemental period addition Alec Waterman kicked a long goal in his first game with the Bombers.

St Kilda were as bad as Essendon were good, with their skill level deplorable for the second week in succession.

They conceded scores from turnovers with poor kicking out of defence and their midfield wasn’t prepared to work hard enough to find an opponent when the Bombers went forward. They also only laid just 33 tackles despite winning 116 fewer disposals.

Brett Ratten talks to his players.

Brett Ratten talks to his players.Credit:Getty Images

Ratten knows they have an issue with their kicking but it is not an easy fix. Several of their big-ticket recruits Brad Hill, Zak Jones and now Brad Crouch would be lucky to hit a pinata at the moment.

Their capacity to lift in that area was not helped when Jade Gresham was carried from the ground with an Achilles injury midway through the second quarter.

His absence also meant gallant co-captain Jack Steele was left to fight a lone battle in the midfield with the Saints facing a tough run in the next three rounds.

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BEST
Essendon:
Parish, Ham, Stringer, Merrett, Wright, Hooker, Cox, Francis
St Kilda: Steele, Membrey, Clark

VOTES
Darcy Parish (Essendon) 8
Zach Merrett (Essendon) 8
Jake Stringer (Essendon) 7
Brayden Ham (Essendon) 7
Cale Hooker (Essendon) 7

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