Photo: Anthony Vella.

Essendon and the Southern Saints' rivalry has seen the latest entry fall the way of the Bombers, who recorded their fourth-consecutive win with a slogging 12-point victory in a brutal, second Grand Final rematch for the season.

In treacherous conditions at NEC Hangar, the reigning premiers all-but repeated the dose from last year’s decider, almost shutting the Saints out in conceding just one behind in the first three quarters.

But despite that, they didn’t put their rivals away until late, with Olivia Manfre’s goal early in the final quarter ensuring the challenge would be too big for the runners-up despite Emma Stuber responding with what turned out to be their only major.


In a game where a remarkable 210 tackles were laid, Bomber ball magnet Amelia Radford (26 disposals, five clearances, 13 tackles) and ruck Steph Wales (19 disposals, 30 hitouts, nine clearances, seven tackles) were absolutely standouts.

Grace Dicker laid 19 tackles to go with 14 touches and five clearances, while Ash Van Loon (13 tackles) and Georgia Clark (17 possessions) also played their part.

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Madison Capsalis had 16 touches, 11 clearances, 10 tackles and five inside-50s to be the Saints’ best, while last week’s hero Tessa Boyd (17 disposals, six rebounds), Winnie Laing and Deanna Jolliffe (15 disposals, six tackles each) and Alexandra Hynes (12 tackles, 17 hitouts) provided strong support.

The Southern Saints will be hoping for more favourable conditions come next week's home game against Port Melbourne on Mother's Day.

ESSENDON  0.5  1.7  1.8  2.8 (28)
0.0  0.1  0.1  1.2 (8)

Wilson, Manfre
Southern Saints: Stuber

Essendon: Dicker, Wales, Radford, Clarke, Van Loon
Southern Saints: Capsalis, Jolliffe, Boyd, Hynes, Laing