Jack Silvagni earned rave reviews in a loss to St Kilda on Thursday night but he still has a way to go to impress his famous father.
The 23-year-old booted three goals for Carlton in its 19.11 (125) to 15.9 (99) defeat to the Saints at Marvel Stadium as Melbourne welcomed back crowds to the footy for the first time since the pandemic, but dad wasn’t about to pat him on the back.
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When Silvagni took a strong mark midway through the fourth quarter, out-muscling two St Kilda defenders inside forward 50, the camera panned to his old man, Blues legend Stephen Silvagni, and his mum Jo, in the stands.
SOS wasn’t showing any emotion at all, perhaps waiting to celebrate until his boy kicked truly.
Jack went back and slotted his final major of the night with a crisp set shot, his teammates rushing in to congratulate the young gun as he closed the deficit to just 12 points.
But back to dad, and nothing had changed.
Fox Sports commentator Anthony Hudson was pleading for just the hint of a smile. “Come on SOS, give us something,” he said.
Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown chimed in, adding: “Give us something, SOS, come on.”
Jo — a TV personality who worked on Sale of the Century — was thrilled with her son’s goal, smiling and clapping after he added another six points to Carlton’s tally. But still Stephen remained unmoved, prompting Jo to deliver a bump the Hall of Fame defender would have been proud of in an attempt to elicit a reaction.
CHECK OUT THE INCIDENT IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE
Jack looked the goods in Carlton’s first proper hit-out as the AFL pre-season competition got underway, ahead of the campaign proper beginning later this month.
“He’s been good, especially in this second half. He’s looked really dangerous in the forward line,” Brown said.
Journalist Sam McClure tweeted: “If Carlton have learned anything tonight, it’s that Jack Silvagni is in their best team. He’s clean, he competes and he plays multiple positions.
“It’s not that hard to see.”
There’s been plenty of uproar about the new standing rule for the man on the mark, which prohibits the defender from moving at all when on the mark for a set shot, but it didn’t cause any drama on Thursday night.
Designed to improve ball movement and increase scoring opportunities, 13 goals in the opening quarter suggested something was different after teams and fans complained last year of too much congestion around the ball.
Of the new rule, Brown said: “After seeing it live, the man on the mark rule, which was the major contributor to the flowing nature of the game, I think it will have a positive impact.”
Melbourne legend and Fox Footy commentator Garry Lyon added: “Thirty-four goals suggests it’s cracked the whole thing open. I think even when it slows things down more is when the advantage of the rule will be more pronounced.”
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