CASEY had a statement win on Saturday defeating the previously undefeated Essendon side by 41 points at Windy Hill.
From the opening bounce, the Demons were on a mission and looked to be back to their devastating ways holding the VFL’s top scoring side to only three goals through three quarters.
Braydon Preuss and Tim Smith were amongst the stars on a dominant day for the Club.
DISPOSALS: Gent 23, Sparrow 20, Munro 19, Freeman, Jordon 18
GOALS: Smith 4, White 3, Baker, Munro, Preuss 2, Chandler, Lefau
Braydon Preuss is a game-changer
Working his way back from an injury, the man mountain was sensational for Casey on the weekend.
Winning 40 hit-outs, having 16 disposals and booting two goals to cap a best on ground performance.
It wasn’t just his own stellar game, but Preuss was instrumental in making sure the midfield had first touches of the ball from the stoppages which broke the game open.
37 hit outs and 2 goals to Preuss in his return to the @CaseyDemonsFC lineup at 3QT. Demons lead the undefeated @essendonvfl by 59 points in the final term.— #VFL / #VFLW (@VFL) May 11, 2019
Watch the #VFL Rd 6 @beyondblue Round game live here https://t.co/qVdesbALr0 pic.twitter.com/mz2mGXCjbt
The Bull ran wild
Another Dee quickly working their way back from injury with a stellar performance was Tim Smith.
An outstanding performance by the key forward booting four goals. But it wasn’t just up front where Smith did his damage.
Head coach Jade Rawlings threw ‘The Bull’ into the midfield to let him run rampant and win a number of key centre contests in a scintillating third quarter by Casey.
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Inexperienced backline not only survived but thrived
Heading to the league-leaders’ home ground is a daunting task at any time of the season, especially when this Essendon side had been averaging over 118 points in its first four rounds.
But the Casey backlines led by Harry Petty and Jack Hutchins stood up to the challenge and thrived in quelling any impact by the Essendon key forwards.
Drawing the praise of their coach.
“I think Essendon are in the two best teams in the competition, so we knew coming to Windy Hill was going to be a challenge,” Rawlings told Melbourne Media.
“We held them to only three goals at three-quarter time… so I thought for our inexperienced backline, to set the ground up the way they did and win their one-on-ones against some talented forwards had a big bearing on the result.”
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Jimmy Munro and Tom Sparrow: The Tackle Bros.
Key to Casey’s victories and narrow defeats this season has been the Demons constant pressure around the ball and leading the charge are Munro and Sparrow.
The duo has combined for 70 tackles through five games already this season, that’s an incredible average of 14 a match. Against Essendon, they again hit this threshold, Munro with nine and Sparrow five tackles.
With these two placing constant pressure on opponents it is having a tremendous impact in keeping the Demons in matches.
A word from the coach
“I thought our players were sensational today,” Rawlings said.
“We thought we have been playing okay this season, but not at our full capacity.
“So, when you get a full spread of 23 players who are playing our consistent intensity around the ball… I couldn’t be more pleased today.”
Next up for the Demons welcome the Port Melbourne Boroughs to Casey Fields on Saturday at 2pm.
Winners of four straight matches, it poses to be another challenge for a Casey side which looks to be starting to hit its straps.