Essendon’s Devon Smith has come under scrutiny for an unconventional attempt to evade his opponent during the Bombers’ impressive comeback win over Hawthorn on Thursday.
Smith was being corralled away from the ball carrier by Hawthorn opponent Jack Gunston when, in an attempt to evade him, appeared to drop to his knees and trip his Hawks rival.
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AFL greats Nick Riewoldt and Jonathan Brown were both unimpressed by Smith’s method of moving Gunston from his path, speculating the move could have injured the Hawthorn star and that it could result in a suspension.
“It looks like the sweep the leg move from ‘The Karate Kid’,” Riewoldt said.
“It’s not a good look.”
Triple-premiership winning former Brisbane Lions great Brown was harsher in his criticism, openly suggesting the move would sideline the highly rated Bomber.
Smith joined Essendon for the 2018 season, after beginning his career with the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
“I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a suspension for that,” Brown said.
“How dangerous is it? You can break someone’s leg doing that, it’s very undisciplined.
“Devon Smith’s been good since going to halfback over the last fortnight, but he’s let himself down there.”
Bombers hoping to capitalise on AFL belief
At halftime against Hawthorn, the Bombers were 36 points down and seemingly out - of the game and finals contention.
But for Worsfold, it's like the old adage: one man's crisis is another man's opportunity.
"It was a really good opportunity for the players to say ... how much faith do we have in each other that we can do this?," Worsfold said.
"And what is our best footy going to look like going forward?"
Inspired by three-goal hero Joe Daniher in his comeback game after 15 months out because of groin injuries, the Bombers steamrolled Hawthorn in the second half at Adelaide Oval.
They kicked 11 goals to three, won by 16 points and climbed to ninth on the ladder.
"I'm proud of the fact they were able to not run out in the second half disappointed and flat but still believing," Worsfold said.
"You could just see early in that third quarter, they got a feel for what our best footy looks like and what we have been training and committing to.
"And they got excited about it."