26/02/2016 11:56 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Stephen Coniglio Kiss: GWS Giants Stand-in Captain's Cheeky NAB Challenge Moment


We would have expected the A-League to be the football code to introduce us to European customs but the AFL has beaten them to it.

Introducing the mate-on-mate celebratory kiss.

Stephen Coniglio of the AFL's Greater Western Sydney Giants has planted this beauty on the cheek of teammate Rhys Palmer after a third-quarter goal in their NAB Challenge pre-season match against the Western Bulldogs.

Palmer seals it with a kiss

Sealed with a kiss! #NABChallenge

Posted by AFL on Thursday, 25 February 2016

The football world was stunned. Some struggled to process what they'd just seen. Fox Sports commentator Barry Hall -- who in his playing days was more expressive with his fists than his lips -- said he would not have been “that accepting” of the kiss.

The on-air commentators had this somewhat bemused exchange:

Awkward commentator 1: Oh did you see that, there was a kiss on the cheek between Palmer and Coniglio. Did you see that? It was hilarious, absolutely hilarious. They kissed each other on the cheek after a goal for celebration. That’s a whole new level...

Awkward commentator 2: That’s a European thing.

Awkward commentator 1: Yep, but it’d be a bit more sweaty.

Awkward commentator 2: Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

Awkward commentator 1: Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

Awkward commentator 2: Yeah, that’s a little hot and sweaty.

Awkward commentator 1: Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw.

Awkward commentator 2: High pitched giggle which in itself was rather “European”.

The awkard-o-meter started beeping really loudly when Dermott Brereton said: "If Coniglio kicks half a dozen, we’ll qualify it as an affair.”

Former Giants player and new Melbourne Demons recruit Tomas Bugg also couldn't resist seeing the incident through the lens of luuuurv rather than a perfectly natural display of camaraderie between blokes.

The Huffington Post Australia made the world's quickest phone call to the GWS Giants to see whether Stephen Coniglio does this sort of thing often.

"It's a new thing. Him and Rhys Palmer are just good mates," a Giants spokesman told us. "There was nothing premeditated. Stephen's a proud Italian and it's just something to do with his European heritage."

Something good, we say, and a thing which the football world should probably be just a touch less queasy about.