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Tom Papley blasts Essendon for alleged off-the-ball tactics

Peter Wright Collision With Harry Cunningham

In a fiery post-match interview, Sydney Swans player Tom Papley expressed his concerns, about Essendon’s tactics during their game at the SCG in round 2 of the 2024 AFL Premiership.

The Sydney Swans clinched a victory of 19.17 (131) to 15.11 (101) after a heated first half.

The game was marked by some big moments and altercations.

The tension started when Peter Wright from Essendon collided with Harry Cunningham from Sydney, leading to a scuffle that was eventually broken up by Essendon Bomber runner Travis Cloke.

Papley, who had an outstanding performance with four goals and 24 disposals, didn’t shy away from criticising Essendon’s approach.

“There’s definitely no shortage of rivalry between the two teams,” Papley remarked.

“Brad Scott mentioned they were aiming for that Essendon edge, and Peter Wright may have crossed the line.”

Papley highlighted incidents such as Wright’s collision with Cunningham and a confrontation between Sam Draper from Essendon and Jake Lloyd from Sydney that resulted in a 50-metre penalty and a goal for the Swans.

While Papley’s remarks drew both support and criticism, with some applauding his candidness and others pointing out his own history of off-the-ball incidents, including one involving Collingwood’s Nick Daicos last year.

Brad Scott, Essendon Bombers‘ coach, defended Wright’s actions, describing him as a fair player. However, former Geelong captain Cameron Ling predicted a significant suspension for Wright, citing a shift in the AFL’s approach following previous incidents.

The Swans’ victory propels them to a 3-0 start to the season and now sits on top of the ladder, while Essendon stands at 1-1, eager to break their finals drought dating back to 2004.

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