Nine different goalscorers may have propelled Essendon past premiership hopefuls Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval, but it was the early influence of the Dons' rucking duo of Sam Draper and Andrew Phillips that cracked the contest before the heavens opened.

Notching a tonne at the picturesque cricket ground to head home with a 27-point win, Brad Scott's rising Bombers were served by a quintet of multiple scorers on the day, with Kyle Langford, Nic Martin and super-sub Nick Hind each bagging braces in the upset victory.

Yet, it was the first-half influence of Draper's three majors and Phillips' pair that had the team from Tullamarine humming at the main break. In a testament to the heat of Scott's attack, Essendon's half-time score of 64 points was the largest conceded by Melbourne since their hefty preliminary final loss to West Coast in 2018.

Though the headlines will say Saturday afternoon acted as a coming out party for Phillips and Draper, last Sunday's win over Greater Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium must now be seen as the foreshadower.

Throughout the course of the hard-fought 13-point win over the restumping Giants, both of Essendon's bigs played vital hands at stoppages and, more importantly, ahead of the ball.

With the multi-metred presence of Peter Wright sidelined for another three months, the conspicuous pair were asked to help fill the void up forward – a task took to with glee, as both Draper and Phillips clunked the ball inside the arc and hit the scoreboard.

Neither neglected their rucking duties either, taking Matt Flynn to task; winning 41 hitouts to 22 before teaming up again to topple sterner opposition in Brody Grundy.

Despite dark clouds adding moisture to the tarmac before them in the City of Churches, Draper and Phillips took off and took over against the dual All-Australian, ending the statement-making win with the lion's share of the hitouts - 38 to 24 - and six contested grabs between them.

And while Scott would acknowledge post-game that Max Gawn's absence had allowed the Draper-Phillips combination a freer rein, his honesty was bracketed with words of praise for the pair.

“Our forward half has looked different in pretty much every game we've played this year,” Scott said after the galvanizing Gather Round win.

“To get five out of ruckmen pushing forward in combination (is fantastic).

“But we're also well aware that (in) Grundy, Gawn, Lever, Ben Brown, there is still a lot of capability that weren't in that Melbourne team today.

“The output on the scoreboard is really pleasing, but we got a lot of respect for Grundy, for obvious reasons. He's a really good player."

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Thrust back together again against the Giants, even if Draper and Phillips share obvious similarities and skerricks of history, the pair have walked alternate paths for the bulk of their careers.

For Phillips, the one sock up, one down journeyman that once called Sydney's West and Princes Park home, notching up his 66th senior appearance over the carnival weekend will have felt a Sisyphean slog for much of his 11-year career. One made with the smallest amount of fanfare possible.

At the other end of the spectrum, Draper has become the darling of Dons fans everywhere, with the infectious former soccer player acting as the upbeat pied piper for those clad in red and black.

“Draper is emerging. He's shown some really good signs and is getting better, seemingly, on a weekly basis,” Scott added.

“Phillips has turned the clock back a little bit the last two weeks. He's just been really important. Phillips is a really coachable player. You've got to be a little bit careful because you tell him to do something; he does it to the letter.

“He's been terrific for us the last two weeks, actually.”

Now at 4-1 to start the season – a feat Essendon hasn't achieved since the COVID condensed 2020 season – those that don the sash will be daring to dream, as while the Bombers would crash land and miss September back then, Scott's structured approach appears built to last.

With another four points in their carry-on, and a tentative hold on the ladder's second rung heading into Gather Round's final day, the patience preached by Scott to the supporter base will be tough to digest.

And with Craig McRae's Collingwood next up on ANZAC DAY, setting up the most tantalising clash between the old enemies since more than 94,000 kicked the MCG's doors down in 1995, given Essendon's many daggers wounds over the last decade, keeping this collective glee in check will no doubt prove too tough for some.