Collingwood fans call out Tom Papley as Swans star cops backlash over AFL comments

Tom Papley has been accused of double standards after claiming Essendon players were targeting Swans players off the ball.

Tom Papley has been accused of having double standards after the Sydney star slammed Essendon for their off-the-ball antics during the Swans' 30-point win on Saturday night. Papley labelled the Bombers' tough-guy tactics a "facade" and claimed Essendon were targeting Swans players in back play.

"We fought our way back. They were pretty good early, their pressure is good. They're getting after us a bit, but we'll keep going hard at the ball"' he told Channel 7 at half-time. "They're trying to get after us, it's all off the ball. We're just worried about the ball, we'll keep being hard in the contest and get the job done."

Pictured Tom Papley left and Collingwood players right
Tom Papley has been called a hypocrite by Collingwood fans after claiming Essendon players were targeting Swans players off the ball. Image: Getty

After finishing with four goals and 24 disposals Papley then had another go at Essendon at full-time. "They really gave it to us. Brad Scott came out and said they want to have that Essendon edge and Peter Wright took it a bit too far," Papley told 3AW.

"They were still getting into us. You can be tough and do all that stuff, but you've still got to be able to play four quarters. They were hitting us behind the play and things like that. They're trying to do that stuff and I don't know if it's them or not."

But Papley's comments didn't sit well with Collingwood fans, who called out some of his dirty antics against them last year. Pies fans pointed out that he hit Nick Daicos off-the-ball in similar fashion, labelling the Swans star a "hypocrite".

Tony Jones accuses Tom Papley of double standards

Sunday Footy Show host Tony Jones also hit out at the Swans star's remarks, saying they were "a little bemusing, given that Sydney was accused of doing the same thing some time ago." "And I'm sure if (Western Bulldogs star) Jason Johannisen was watching, he would have thought 'hmm, really?'" Jones said.

"It was a bit rich for the Swans, complaining about a team targeting them off the ball when only a few years ago they were doing exactly the same thing."

Essendon coach Brad Scott defends physical approach

After the game, Essendon coach Brad Scott defended the physical approach despite the SCG showdown getting off to an explosive start when forward Peter Wright left Swans defender Harry Cunningham motionless on the turf after a horror bump. Wright will front the AFL tribunal this week over the incident, with the Bombers tall facing a rough conduct charge, after the bump was graded as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact.

Scott defended his forward's actions, stating he is a ball player and the side needed to be physical to try to combat what Sydney does best. "I'm not going to talk about the incident but the only thing I can say is Peter Wright is a well-known ballplayer - always has been since he was a kid," Scott said.


"Sydney have dominated the last few weeks and they've got a lot of players who are very slick and good with the ball in hand. Their ball movement is very solid at the moment. If we just sat back and watched them do that, it was going to be a long, difficult night. We needed to combat that with some physicality in the contest."

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Harry Cunningham of the Swans is challenged by Peter Wright of the Bombers during the round two AFL match between Sydney Swans and Essendon Bombers at SCG, on March 23, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/via Getty Images )
Essendon forward Peter Wright will front the AFL tribunal this week after a nasty high bump on defender Harry Cunningham concussed him and put him out of the match. (Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos via Getty Images)