'Taking the p***': Bombers savaged over response to rival's taunts

Dylan Shiel was mocked by Luke Parker after a turnover resulted in a Swans goal last weekend.
Bombers midfielder Dylan Shiel was mercilessly taunted by Swans rival Luke Parker as Sydney demolished Essendon last weekend. Pictures: Getty Images/Fox Footy

The Essendon Bombers have been challenged to discover some nastiness in their game after they were ruthlessly taunted by Swans captain Luke Parker last weekend.

Sydney romped to a 14.21 (105) to 6.11 (47) win over the Bombers last weekend, punctuated by Parker's jabs at midfielder Dylan Shiel after a key error resulted in a goal.

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Shiel was acquired by the Bombers in a massive trade in 2018, but the former GSW Giants star's time at Windy Hill hasn't been the game changer fans were hoping for.

Parker booted a long goal after Shiel coughed up the ball in a tackle, immiediately returning to the Bombers star and shrugging in his face, openly mocking him as the pain continued to be piled on Essendon.

The moment epitomised the difference between the Swans and Bombers, with the latter laying only 30 tackles for the entire match, in contrast to Sydney's 56.

After breaking through for a much-needed win over Hawthorn the previous weekend, just their second for the season, the loss to the Swans sent the Bombers crashing back down to earth.

Former club champion Matthew Lloyd was profoundly disappointed by the loss, particularly the response to Parker's taunts - something he believed showed the Bombers lacked toughness.

Speaking about the game on the Sunday Footy Show, Lloyd said those kinds of taunts would never have gone unpunished in days gone by.

“You never, ever want to be walked over in life or disrespected in any way,” he told Channel 9.

“I thought Dylan Shiel was disrespected in a way you never wanted to be treated as a footballer.

“I would’ve ploughed straight through Parker here, got him to the ground and said, ‘You will never, ever treat me like that again’. I’d cannon into him. If you don’t give away a free kick, even better.

“Dylan Shiel isn’t that type of player to do it, but I would’ve loved for someone else to do it on his behalf.

“I think that will be something Ben Rutten will show and say this is how you are viewed Dylan and this is how us as a team are being viewed."

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Lloyd pointed to the massive discrepancy in Saturday night's tackle count as more evidence the Bombers simply weren't working hard enough.

Essendon's gameplan under coach Ben Rutten has come under fire in 2022 after an impressive campaign last year, with the Bombers at just 2-7 after nine rounds.

With finals football increasingly out of reach, Lloyd said the remainder of the season needed to focus on effort, as opposed to talent.

“You can be not as talented as another team, but effort doesn’t come into it — 30 tackles says it all, a lack of defence says it all," Lloyd said.

Dylan Shiel and Dyson Heppell have been challeged to be better leaders by Essendon head coach Ben Rutten.
Senior players like Shiel and Dyson Heppell have been challenged to lift by Bombers coach Ben Rutten. (Photo by Matt King/AFL Photos/via Getty Images) (via Getty Images)

"They’re too nice and there’s no ruthless streak whatsoever.

“You’ve got to start somewhere … I’m not talking about knocking someone into tomorrow, I’m talking about making a statement that you’re not going to be walked all over and they are being walked all over.”

Parker's taunt garnered a substantial response on social media at the time, with some observers taken aback by the level of disrespect shown.

"Our more senior players are the ones we need to pave the way and shine a light for our younger guys. They didn't do that tonight," Rutten said.

"We've got some inexperienced players in our team but it's the more senior guys that we need to be the ones to get down and do the work and show them the way."

Despite the poor performance, which could have been a worse result if not for some inaccurate goalkicking by the Swans, Rutten insisted that he will back the senior Bombers rather than send them to the reserves to find form.

With AAP

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