AAP AFL

Bombers must buck bye trend against Eagles

By AAP Newswire

If recent history is an accurate guide Essendon should be afraid - very afraid.

The Bombers emerge from their AFL mid-season bye to take on West Coast at Optus Stadium on Thursday night.

Not only will they need to find a way to upset a fired-up Eagles side looking to rebound after a loss and reclaim top spot, they must buck the trend of teams losing their first games back after the break.

Since clubs first started to pause for a rest in round 10 just one - Hawthorn - of six has managed to take the premiership points on their returns to AFL action.

Gold Coast and Port Adelaide were the first sides to have a bye after the Power won their round-nine clash in Shanghai.

After a torturous travel schedule forced on them by the Commonwealth Games, the Suns returned to the comforts of home at Metricon Stadium for the first time in 2018 only for Geelong to thump them by 85 points.

Port Adelaide took on Hawthorn in Launceston and went down by three points.

Carlton, West Coast, the Western Bulldogs and the Hawks were next to swap Sherrins for Hawaiian shirts, sunscreen and drinks with umbrellas in them.

On their return to action at the weekend, the Blues didn't kick a goal in a diabolical first half against Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.

They trailed by 70 points at halftime before battling to a 57-point defeat.

The Eagles led Sydney at quarter-time at the SCG on Friday night, but soon fell behind and suffered a 15-point loss.

The Bulldogs were soon wishing they'd stayed on holidays as Easton Wood and Jack Macrae suffered hamstring injuries in a 57-point smashing at the hands of Port at Adelaide Oval.

The record of teams coming out orf the bye this year was 0-5 before Hawthorn hosted Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday night.

The Hawks led by four points at halftime then blew the dispirited Crows away in a seven-goals-to-nil third term.

Of course, Essendon aren't the only team looking to buck the bye bogey.

After resting up last weekend, North Melbourne return to host the Dogs at Etihad Stadium in round 14, the Demons take on the Power at Adelaide Oval, Collingwood host Carlton on Sunday and the Brisbane Lions and GWS - who both had byes - play each other at the Gabba.

At least one of them will escape the bye curse.