‘We don’t often see this, but I like it’: Swans star’s cheeky sledge for ‘flighty’ Bombers
He’s regarded as one of the most brutal and brilliant midfielders in the competition.
But Swans star Luke Parker on Saturday night proved he’s happy to stir the pot when appropriate.
Parker joined in the Swans’ first-half party against Essendon, kicking his side’s ninth goal – and letting his Bombers opponents know all about it.
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Parker pounced on a loose ball after Bomber Dylan Shiel lost control of it in a Chad Warner tackle. He then stepped around Essendon defender Nick Hind and nailed a long-range major, much to the delight of Sydney fans at the SCG.
After Parker’s kick sailed through the goals prompting a vociferous celebration, the Swans star turned to Shiel and appeared to taunt him, staring at the Bombers midfielder and shrugging his shoulders several times.
“Luke Parker was just letting a few of the Essendon boys around him know that they’re a bit ‘flighty’ tonight,” All-Australian ruckman Luke Darcy told Channel 7.
“He was in the face of the opposition, Luke Parker.”
Giants veteran Phil Davis said in commentary on-field sledging wasn’t as prolific as it used to be compared to when he started his AFL career, but the defender added: “Luke (Parker) is not bad … He likes to have a go.”
Saints legend Nick Riewoldt said he wished there was more of those types of player interactions on the field.
“We don’t often see this, but I like it,” Riewoldt told Fox Footy.
“I would much rather see that combative nature between players on the field than the love-in we see at times.”
Seven-time All-Australian Nathan Buckley added: “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.”