Keeping the NAB Cup tradition of fielding young sides it was Essendons youngsters who stood up to win convincingly against the Lions at Gold coast Stadium. Matthew Knights joined Carlton coach Brett Ratten today with both coaches winning their first games as head AFL coaches. The Bombers stole the lead from Brisbane early in the first quarter and never looked back, the final scores being 2.11.16 (100) to 2.8.7 (73).

Leigh Matthews was absent from last night’s match and although it was planned it gave former Lions 3 time premiership player Justin Leppitsch a taste of what it’s like to be a head AFL coach. With Leppitsch coaching the side it’s no surprise they didn’t play a number of star players who were either rested or had injury concerns which included Simon Black, Daniel Bradshaw, Daniel Merrett, Mitch Clark and Jonathan Brown. Essendon also had a long list of experienced players on the sideline which included Matthew Lloyd, Scott Lucas, Dustin Fletcher, Andrew Welsh, Brent Stanton, Mark McVeigh, Jobe Watson and Adam Ramanauskas.

The match included positives for both teams although it wasn’t all smiles and high fives at the Essendon camp. Young gun Scott Gumbleton shed a tear on the sidelines after he tore a hamstring in the first half and is expected to put him on the sidelines for several weeks. Gumbleton was picked up with pick number 2 in the 2006 National Draft and has struggled with injuries at his time at Essendon.

Essendon will now play the Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome this Friday night.

Essendon 1.4.2 – 2.9.2 – 2.10.10 – 2.11.16 (100)
Brisbane Lions 1.2.2 – 1.5.4 – 2.5.6 – 2.8.7 (73)

Essendon: Nine-point goals: Reimers, Lovett-Murray. Goals: Hille 3, Peverill 2, Lovett-Murray, Lonergan, Monfries, Ryder, Johns, Johnson
Brisbane Lions: Nine-point goals: Brennan 2. Goals: Henderson 3, Notting 2, Kiel 2, Brennan
Essendon: Hille, Dyson, Nash, Laycock
Brisbane Lions: Power, Stiller, Johnstone, Brennan
Umpires: M Avon J Schmitt S Wenn
Crowd: 10,078 at Gold Coast Stadium.