Aussie punter Arryn Siposs endured a nightmare moment late in the Super Bowl as the Kansas City Chiefs turned the tide to beat the Philadelphia Eagles. Siposs and Eagles teammate Jordan Mailata made NFL history on Sunday (Monday AEDT), becoming the first pair of Aussie players to feature in the same Super Bowl.
However Siposs suffered a horror mishap in the fourth quarter as the Chiefs erased a half-time deficit to stamp their authority on the game and eventually win. With the Eagles trailing 28-27 in the final quarter, Siposs was called upon to punt his side out of trouble.
'THIS IS AWFUL': NFL world rages over 'disgusting' act at Super Bowl
However his low line-drive effort gave Kadarius Toney way too much time before the Eagles chasers got to him, with the Chiefs returner producing an incredible 65-yard punt return - the longest in Super Bowl history. Skyy Moore then scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to extend the Chiefs' lead to 35-27.
The Eagles managed to level things up at 35-35 not long after, but fans were quick to call out Siposs after his brutal punt led to Toney's huge return. The Aussie's effort was described as 'horrible' and 'awful' on social media, with his punt appearing to wrong-foot his teammates.
The Chiefs kicked a field goal with 11 seconds remaining to secure a 38-35 victory. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes overcame a brutal ankle injury in the first half to guide his side to a remarkable triumph.
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 13, 2023
For all the jokes about “punters don’t matter” you kick a bad line drive once in the biggest game and it could cost you your season. That’s a kick Jack Fox probably doesn’t hit, hence why he beat out Siposs.
Eagles gonna be wondering if the fresher Brett Kern makes that kick.
— Hamza Baccouche (@HamzaPOD) February 13, 2023
That was such a "St Kilda in a championship game" result from Siposs #SuperBowl
— Matt (@Mattys123) February 13, 2023
Awful punt but give Siposs credit for sticking with it and making the tackle
— Andrew Griffith (@aussiegriff) February 13, 2023
Horrible punt from Siposs led to that touchdown. The entire punt coverage is covering left and he shanked it right.
— Jaco Sattamini (@jacosattamini) February 13, 2023
Think that Siposs punt was supposed to be to the left side. That's how the gunners were attacking it down the field. Once it went the wrong way, the punt coverage got out of sync and then... that happened.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 13, 2023
As for Mailata, he wasted little time in making his presence felt in the game. The Aussie was at his aggressive best early in the contest, producing an enormous block that saw Jalen Hurts stroll through a huge hole in the Kansas City Chiefs' defence for the Eagles' first touchdown.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs player was all over the Chiefs' defence as he produced a number of openings for Hurts and the Eagles' running backs. Mailata's blocking is central to the Eagles' recurring theme of calling 'quarterback sneaks' - where Hurts keeps the ball and runs it himself instead of passing.
“The tendency of this Philadelphia team and with how many quarterback sneaks have we seen them run, Jason Kelce the all-everything centre, rugby style scrum and get underneath. You have to think from the half-yard line, it’s got to be up the top of the call sheet,” Greg Olsen said in commentary for Fox Sports.
— Luke Cooper (@luke__cooper) February 13, 2023
Mailata has become one of the NFL's top left tackles - a key role where he protects quarterback Hurts. Siposs produced the goods in his only other punt in the game, unleashing a 57-yard effort in the first half as the Eagles went to half-time ahead 24-14.
However it wasn't long before the Chiefs hit back after the break, with an Isiah Pacheco touchdown narrowing the margin before Kansas City claimed the lead early in the fourth quarter. Siposs is a former AFL player who was formerly with the St Kilda Saints.
The Eagles activated the Aussie punter from the injured reserve before the game, making him eligible for the contest in Phoenix. The 30-year-old had been out of action since injuring his ankle on December 12 against the New York Giants.
Aussies make incredible history in Super Bowl
Siposs and Mailata were bidding to become the first Aussies to play an on-field role in a winning Super Bowl. However their dreams were shattered as Mahomes and the Chiefs staged an incredible comeback on Sunday.
Jesse Williams won a Super Bowl ring with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, but he was an injured reserve and never made his NFL debut. Ben Graham was the first Australian to make the Super Bowl in Arizona's loss in 2009, while Mitch Wishnowsky was in the San Francisco 49ers side that went down in 2020.
Adding to the Australian connection, Matt Leo is in the Eagles' practice squad. Siposs played 28 games in the AFL for St Kilda from 2011 to 2014, but was hampered by injuries and never made his mark. He tried American football in 2017 and joined the Eagles two years ago.
As for Mailata, the 203cm, 166kg beast abandoned his attempts to make it in the NRL five years ago and decided to try his luck in America instead. He knew nothing about the game at the time, but the Eagles saw his vast potential and drafted him only a few months after Mailata landed in the United States.
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.