It was a match that drew five weeks worth of AFL suspensions, a broken jaw and plenty of bruises but Carlton young gun Jack Silvagni doesn’t believe it was played in the wrong spirit.
Melbourne’s tight defeat of the Blues on Sunday brought out the Demons’ mean streak, with Jordan Lewis and Jesse Hogan suspended for ugly off-the-ball hits.
Silvagni saw teammates Patrick Cripps, who suffered a broken jaw, and Sam Rowe targeted in the carnage.
He also saw a slice of team spirit in Carlton’s response.
“I’d like to think as a club we handled it pretty well,” he said.
“It’s not something you shy away from, that physicality. It’s part of our game and it’s what supporters and players love.
“I don’t think they stepped over the line.
“We flew the flag when boys went down. It’s a good sign of the unity we have as a team.”
The 19-year-old hobbled off with a corked leg in the second quarter, playing out the match.
It didn’t stop his mother, television personality Jo Silvagni, from fretting in the stands – something the teenager was keen for her to stamp out.
“She said she was a bit worried and if I was off for another two minutes she would have been down in the rooms,” he said.
“I said ‘If you did that I would have been pretty off ya. If I’m walking off I’m fine. If I’m stretchered off you can come down’.”
Silvagni backed “tough individual” Cripps to play on Sunday against Essendon, saying the young Blues would learn from missed opportunities such as the MCG duel with Melbourne.
“We’re a young group turning over 28 players in the past two years,” he said.
“With experience we’ll be able to finish off those games.”