Opinions were divided but one AFL great certainly didn’t like seeing Bombers star Darcy Parish blow up at his captain mid-match.
AFL commentators were divided on Sunday after watching Essendon star Darcy Parish blow up at his own team during a tight loss to Port Adelaide.
The Bombers were down by 20 points at quarter time after kicking just six behinds and a clearly upset Parish could be seen demonstrating with teammates as captain Dyson Heppell tried to calm him down.
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Former AFL star Ben Dixon wasn’t a fan of Parish letting his emotions spill over.
“I hate this. I hate … the fact Darcy Parish is blowing up, he’s trying to give some instructions,” Dixon told Fox Footy’s First Crack.
“The captain is trying to talk to him…he’s walking away. Don’t do that.
“I don’t mind getting vocal on the footy field and working through it, but Dyson is still talking. He’s just gone ‘Nup, not listening’.
“Just sit there and solve it. because if you don’t solve it, it’s going to bubble away for the rest of the game.
“If he’s blowing up about (the team’s organisation), just sit there and work it out.”
North Melbourne champion David King said Parish wasn’t happy with how Essendon was matching up in defence.
“The core of the discussion is confusion about who had who and I think that’s been the problem all year from Essendon,” King said.
“It was from a kick out. Parish thought Heppell had a man that he didn’t.
“He didn’t have that responsibility, hence the confusion. They don’t know who they are on for most minutes of the game.”
Ex-St Kilda player Leigh Montagna also weighed in but, as opposed to Dixon, he appreciated Parish’s passion.
“The great teams do this — deal with issues in game. That’s what good teams do, you don’t wait until Monday in the review,” he told Fox Footy.
“I like the passion from Parish. It shows he cares.
“He’s frustrated – I get that.
“As long as everyone can handle it … I think those situations are normal for teams.”
Meanwhile, Port Adelaide’s salvage mission is back on track after the Power saw off a furious third-quarter rally by Essendon to score a hard-fought 16-point win.
After a disastrous 0-5 start to the season and last week’s disappointing loss to Geelong, the Power enters the mid-season bye with a 5-6 record and plenty of reasons for optimism following the 9.12 (66) to 6.14 (50) win at Adelaide Oval.
Ken Hinkley’s men led by as much as 38 points in a dry first half, but the Bombers made the most of rain-affected conditions after the break to slash Port’s advantage to just eight points late in the third quarter.
With steely resolve required, Hinkley’s charges didn’t let him down, grinding out a determined final term where no side managed a goal.
“To get to this stage after our start, I’m pretty proud of the way that we’ve managed to get back into the competition,” Hinkley said.
“We’re strongly into it now and at least we’ve given ourselves a chance (at finals) in the second half of the season.”
The result condemns the Bombers to a 2-9 record with some soul searching required as they also enter their bye.
Ollie Wines, Connor Rozee and Travis Boak helped drive Port’s charge in the first half and got their hands dirty in the second when conditions demanded it.
The Power welcomed back attacking linchpin Charlie Dixon for his first game of the season and he was the only multiple goalkicker on the ground with two.
Parish racked up the disposals again, finishing with a game-high 39, with Zach Merrett, Nick Hind and Nic Martin also important for the visitors.
“There was a fair bit of optimism at half-time based on the way that we were competing and the way that the game was being played, it was just our inability to make the most of our opportunities,” Essendon coach Ben Rutten said.
“I think that was the difference in the first half then I felt the way that our guys adapted to the conditions and played the third quarter, in particular, was a real positive step forward for us.”
With Jason Phelan, NCA NewsWire