Essendon coach John Worsfold says he was left disappointed by the undisciplined acts that are set to result in suspensions to experienced duo Mark Jamar and David Zaharakis.
Jamar was reported in Thursday night’s 78-point loss to West Coast after striking Jeremy McGovern with a forearm to the face as the pair squared up off the ball.
McGovern wasn’t badly hurt by the hit, but the high nature of the contact and the fact it happened while the ball wasn’t in play is set to cost Jamar.
Zaharakis is also set to be scrutinised by the AFL’s match review panel after punching Jackson Nelson in the guts.
Nelson was heavily winded by the hit, and vomited as he was taken from the field.
Worsfold has implored his players to play a hard but fair brand of football this season.
He said the incidents involving Jamar and Zaharakis didn’t fit into what values the team represented.
“I asked the players (Jamar and Zaharakis) if they felt better after those incidents, and giving a free kick away against their teammates,” Worsfold said.
“And you can imagine the response I got. We got beaten in that area of discipline and mental toughness, and that’s disappointing.
“It’s a big learning curve and (it involves) more senior players, so that’s disappointing.”
Jamar is set to spend several weeks on the sidelines anyway after injuring his hamstring in the third quarter.
And Essendon’s ruck stocks are set to be further tested after Matthew Leuenberger struggled on with a knee injury against the Eagles.
Worsfold says Leuenberger is unlikely to be fit to face St Kilda next week, leaving top-up player Sam Michael and Shaun McKernan as the likely players to fill the double ruck void.
Essendon put up a good early fight against the Eagles, booting four of the first six goals of the match to take a three-point lead into quarter time.
They trailed by just 19 points midway through the third term, before West Coast piled on nine goals in the final quarter to secure the 20.10 (130) to 7.10 (52) romp.