Bombers forward in hot water for head-high hit

Bombers forward in hot water for head-high hit

Essendon forward Peter Wright is facing a nervous wait following a high bump on Sydney defender Harry Cunningham during the Bombers’ 30-point loss to the Swans on Saturday night.

Minutes into the match at the SCG, Cunningham was left motionless on the ground after a bone-rattling collision with Wright.

As Cunningham ran backwards to take a mark, Wright rushed in to spoil and the pair collided.

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Concerningly, Wright appeared to turn his body mid-air and brace to bump, collecting Cunningham high in the action.

The visitors subsequently descended on Wright in an attempt to avenge their wounded teammate.

As both teams come together, Essendon runner and ex-Magpie Travis Cloke put himself between his players in an attempt to de-escalate the situation.

After a delay, Cunningham was helped from the ground on a medicab. But in a positive sign, the 30-year-old was conscious and able to sit up on the stretcher.

He was subbed out of the match for Corey Warner.

With high-profile suspensions to Mason Redman (one game) and Jimmy Webster (seven games) in recent weeks for high hits, retired Richmond champion Jack Riewoldt believed Wright was “in trouble” for his actions but added that he was interested to see how the MRO would judge the incident.

“It’s a bit of an unfortunate one for Peter Wright. [He had his] eyes on the ball and all of a sudden something is coming out of his peripherals and he braces for contact,” he told Fox Footy.

“The AFL, we know, have changed the way they look at these sort of aerial contests where there is head-high contact.

“I think he’s going to be in trouble.”

Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson argued Wright was entitled to contest the ball but will come under scrutiny after he braced for contact and elected to bump.

“He does everything right until the very last minute where he turns and locks his shoulder in and bumps Cunningham in the head,” he told Fox Footy.

“So, he still has every right to contest the ball — not in that fashion though. He’s either got to go for a complete mark or try to spoil the ball, you can’t turn unfortunately and shape like that. It’s never been any good.”

The Swans kicked away in the third quarter before the Bombers mounted a last-ditch comeback to halve the deficit mid-way through the final term.

However, a flurry of goals from the Bloods’ forward line soon saw them home.

Tom Papley finished the match with four goals while Isaac Heeney starred with 32 disposals.

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