The Swans absolutely demolished the Bombers at the SCG on Saturday, and Luke Parker couldn’t resists rubbing salt into the wounds.
The Sydney Swans absolutely have demolished the Essendon Bombers at the SCG, and star midfielder Luke Parker gleefully rubbed salt into the wounds.
The Bombers were no match for the rampaging Swans, who cruised to a comfortable 14.21 (105) to 6.11 (47) victory on Saturday evening to propel themselves into the top four on the AFL ladder.
Lance Franklin, Will Hayward, Tom Papley and Sam Wicks each booted two goals for the hosts, with Parker joining the party in the second quarter.
And the 29-year-old couldn’t resist stirring the pot.
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After Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel lost control of the footy following a Chad Warner tackle, Parker pounced on a loose ball before stepping around Bombers defender Nick Hind and kicking a long-range major.
As the SCG crowd erupted, Parker appeared to taunt the struggling Shiel by repeatedly shrugging his shoulders.
“Luke Parker was just letting a few of the Essendon boys around him know that they’re a bit ‘flighty’ tonight,” former Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy told Channel 7.
“He was in the face of the opposition, Luke Parker.”
Five-time All-Australian Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy: “We don’t often see this, but I like it.
“I would much rather see that combative nature between players on the field than the love-in we see at times.”
Having been relegated to the VFL to find form last month, Shiel had an absolute stinker against Sydney, managing just five kicks.
Former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley continued: “What the viewers of the game don’t realise is that it’s not just a physical contest. It’s a mental contest and it’s an emotional contest. You are tested as an individual and as a team in all facets – and that (sledging) is part of the game.
“There’s not as much sledging as there used to be, but it does take place. We don’t often catch it on camera, but that was pretty graphic.”
Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph said Parker was “blatantly taking the piss out of” a woeful Essendon side that laid just 30 tackles for the game.
Franklin was all over the Bombers like a rash, throwing himself into each contest and selflessly offloading the Sherrin to his younger counterparts when they found themselves in space.
The 35-year old is hotly tipped to sign a contract extension with the Swans and did his chances of another year on the books no harm, proving his record-breaking nine-year $10 million deal was worth its weight in gold.
The Bombers were not without their chances in the second half, but a mixture of kicking inaccuracy and lack of intensity around the ball saw the Swans run amok at the death.
With less than 10 points difference separating the teams from their previous eight encounters, the match between the two was hotly tipped to be another blockbuster.
But the Bombers were anything but explosive, managing just 158 disposals and kicking a measly two goals in the second half.
“That piece of play just goes to show you just how dysfunctional this Essendon team is,” North Melbourne great Wayne Carey told Channel 7.
“Every single player that that footy went to could have played on quickly and moved the ball on inside the forward 50. That is just far too easy.”
Meanwhile, Swans co-captain Josh Kennedy became just the second player in AFL history to register 4000 career touches, joining Gary Ablett Jr. as an all-time workhorse.
The midfielder put in another strong showing against the Bombers, sinking a goal in the fourth quarter and racking up 17 touches.
Sydney coach John Longmire admitted that he wasn’t aware of the approaching milestone heading into the clash.
“If you know Josh, it’d be the furthest thing from his mind,” he confessed in the post-match press conference.
“It’s a great achievement, but something that wouldn’t be front of mind.”
The Swans will next face Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Friday, with the first bounce scheduled for 7.50pm AEST.
— with Alasdair Belling, NCA NewsWire