Luke Darcy captured in staggering reaction to son Sam's heroics after ugly AFL incident

The Western Bulldogs great wasn't giving anything away despite Sam Darcy kicking the match-sealing goal.

Not even the match-sealing goal could make Luke Darcy crack a smile after son Sam starred in the Western Bulldogs' win over Collingwood on Friday night. Sam Darcy had three goals and a game-high five contested marks as the Dogs came back to beat the Magpies by 18 points.

But the youngster's night could have easily unravelled after he gave away two 50m penalties that led to Collingwood goals in the first half - one for clattering into Brayden Maynard in an ugly incident that looks sure to see him suspended. The 20-year-old was benched and had an animated exchange with coach Luke Beveridge down the phone line, but bounced back with a brilliant display in the second half.

Luke Darcy and son Sam Darcy.
Luke Darcy didn't give anything away after son Sam slotted the match-sealing goal for the Western Bulldogs. Image: AAP/Triple M/Getty

"He did well to settle himself," Beveridge said after the game. "I just spoke to him about the (second) 50 more than anything, and what his thought process was.

"He didn't think he encroached into the protected area, but he clearly did. The message was just that the start had been a bit shaky from everyone and it was important he re-starts and focuses on what he's capable of. He was really important for us."

Sam Darcy, pictured here after kicking a goal in the Western Bulldogs' win over Collingwood.
Sam Darcy (R) celebrates after kicking a goal in the Western Bulldogs' win over Collingwood.

Darcy is the son of Bulldogs great Luke Darcy, who played 226 games for the club. Luke was in commentary for Triple M radio during the game and his reaction was captured on camera when Sam slotted a sensational goal in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Luke didn't even crack a smile as he maintained his professionalism and tried to remain impartial. But his colleagues knew how much the moment meant to him and Mark Howard said: "Smile big 'Duke' (Luke's nickname)."

While Luke didn't show any emotion at the time, he was beaming in the Western Bulldogs rooms after the game. But Sam's elation was later soured when he was slapped with a two-match for the incident with Maynard. The incident was classified as careless conduct, high impact and high contact by the match review officer.

Leading AFL reporter Jon Ralph predicted at half-time that Darcy would get two weeks. "I think it fits really comfortably in that two-week region," Ralph said. "He turns his body, he clearly makes shoulder contact to the head, he takes his eyes off the football. It is less than Peter Wright who concussed Harry Cunningham which was a four-week ban, but it’s more than Toby Greene on Jordan Boyd which was only a week.

“Careless, high impact, high force is two weeks. Severe impact would have been if Maynard did not pass the SCAT test. It’s only two weeks if he gets underneath that threshold. I don’t think it’ll be more than two weeks.”

When asked if he'd been rattled by the Maynard incident and how Collingwood players and fans reacted, Darcy said: “Not really, I moved on pretty quickly. [Beveridge] gave a good little bake, (he) said ‘pull your head in mate and move on’.

“It’s all part of it. I just had to get out of my own head and keep competing. I was just trying to keep backing myself in.”


Beveridge commended Darcy for his response. "Sometimes with such a big, parochial crowd, especially when it's full of the opposition supporters at their home game, you can go into your shell," he said.

"There's a little bit of pressure and it feels like the world can be closing in on you at times, so I think it definitely shows maturity and probably character as much as anything from young Sam. He had a really influential game in the end."

with AAP