The Swans completely demolished the Bombers at SCG on Saturday, and Luke Parker couldn’t resist rubbing salt into the wounds.
The Sydney Swans absolutely demolished the Essendon Bombers at SCG, and star midfielder Luke Parker happily rubbed salt into their wounds.
The Bombers were no match for the rampaging Swans, who cruised to a comfortable 14.21 (105) 6.11 (47) win on Saturday night to propel themselves into the top four of the AFL ladder .
Lance Franklin, Will Hayward, Tom Papley and Sam Wicks each scored twice for the hosts, with Parker joining the party in the second quarter.
And the 29-year-old couldn’t resist stirring the pot.
Watch every AFL blockbuster game this weekend live and ad-free on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try free for 14 days >
After Essendon midfielder Dylan Shiel lost control of the foot following a tackle from Chad Warner, Parker pounced on a loose ball before rounding Bombers defender Nick Hind and kicking foot to a middle finger at long range.
As the SCG crowd erupted, Parker appeared to taunt the struggling Shiel by repeatedly shrugging.
“Luke Parker was just letting a few of the Essendon boys around him know that they’re a bit ‘fickle’ tonight,” former Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy told Channel 7.
“He was facing the opposition, Luke Parker.”
Five-time All-Australian Nick Riewoldt told Fox Footy: “We don’t see this often, but I like it.
“I would much rather see that combative nature between the players on the pitch than the love we sometimes see.”
After being relegated to the VFL to regain form last month, Shiel had an absolute stink against Sydney, only managing five kicks.
Former Collingwood manager Nathan Buckley continued: “What the spectators at the game don’t realize is that it’s not just a physical competition. 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 (luge) is part of the game.
“There’s not as much sledding as there used to be, but it’s happening. We don’t often catch it on camera, but it was pretty graphic.
Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph said Parker was “blatantly mocking” a dismal Essendon side who managed just 30 tackles for the game.
Franklin was all over the Bombers like a rash, throwing himself into every contest and selflessly unloading the Sherrin on his younger counterparts when they found themselves in space.
The 35-year-old is being hotly tipped to sign a contract extension with the Swans and has done no harm to his chances of another year on the books, proving his club-record nine-year, $10 million deal was worth its weight in gold.
The Bombers weren’t without chances in the second half, but a mix of inaccurate kicking and a lack of intensity around the ball saw the Swans go wild to the death.
With less than 10 points separating the teams from their previous eight encounters, the game between the two was strongly tipped to be another blockbuster.
But the Bombers were anything but explosive, managing just 158 eliminations and scoring a measly two goals in the second half.
“This piece of play just shows you how dysfunctional this Essendon team is,” North Melbourne great Wayne Carey told Channel 7.
“Every player this footy went to could have played fast and moved the ball inside the front 50. It’s just too easy.”
Meanwhile, Swans co-captain Josh Kennedy has become just the second player in AFL history to register 4,000 career touches, joining Gary Ablett Jr. as the workaholic of all the temperature.
The midfielder put in another solid performance against the Bombers, scoring a fourth-quarter goal and collecting 17 touches.
Sydney manager John Longmire admitted he was unaware of the approaching milestone ahead of the clash.
“If you know Josh, that would 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 come to mind.”
The Swans next face Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Friday, with the first rebound scheduled for 7:50 p.m. AEST.
— with Alasdair Belling, NCA NewsWire