Peter Wright looks dejected after the round two match between Sydney and Essendon at the SCG, March 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ESSENDON young gun Archie Perkins has backed teammate Peter Wright, questioning what other players would do in the same situation after the key forward's bump concussed Sydney defender Harry Cunningham on Saturday.

Wright will front the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday, charged with rough conduct, and faces the prospect of a lengthy suspension.

His bump on Cunningham was graded as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact.

The incident happened during a fiery contest at the SCG on Saturday night, after which Sydney veteran Tom Papley accused the Bombers of hitting Swans players behind play.


Papley added Wright would have a "nice holiday" for the Cunningham bump, but Perkins gave his teammate his support.

"He's a really fair player and I think any player in his position on the weekend, leading up at the ball, I don't know what decision any other players would make," Perkins said on Monday.

"He'll get dealt with by the tribunal, but we'll definitely miss him if he gets weeks."

Pressed further on the matter, Perkins added: "I'm not sure what other players or what I would do in that same situation.

Swans and Bombers players scuffle during the round two match between Sydney and Essendon at the SCG, on March 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"It will be interesting to see what the tribunal say moving forward."

Wright's bump came after Bombers coach Brad Scott had spoken about the "Essendon edge" he wants his team to develop.

Perkins said the fallout from the Sydney game wouldn't force the Bombers to alter that physical approach.

"It's going to be a theme throughout the whole year, not just for the game on the weekend," Perkins said.

"It's been a focus throughout the whole pre-season to really come out in the opening quarter and really take it up to the opposition, and be really fierce and tenacious around the ball.

"In previous years we haven't been like that - we've been a bit reactive - so we want to come after the opposition from the opening bounce and set the tone in that regard."

Perkins wasn't bothered by the comments from Papley, who did not hold back in half-time and post-match interviews.

"It was a hot game, a contested game, and it would've been good to watch," Perkins said.


"But there was certainly no directive to go out and hit guys off the ball, and I don't think there were any examples of that really.

"I think for the most part of the game stats-wise we were ahead in contested ball and clearance, so we'll be looking forward to playing them again later in the year."

Essendon takes on St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Saturday, and Saints defender Liam Stocker said the focus on the Bombers' physical approach wouldn't change anything for Ross Lyon's side.

"We thought (Collingwood) really brought the heat (last week) as well, and I think a big part of our system is dealing with it and evading the heat," Stocker said.

Liam Stocker celebrates during the round two match between St Kilda and Collingwood at the MCG, March 21, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"For us, we go in focused on our own system, and what will be will be."

St Kilda is also sweating on the outcome of a tribunal hearing after Max King opted to challenge his one-match rough conduct ban.

King was cited for a high bump on Finlay Macrae, collecting the Collingwood midfielder in the head after he had disposed of the ball.