The AFL has backed in one of the two controversial umpiring decisions from Friday night’s Geelong-Collingwood clash that led to Jeremy Cameron goals.
During the third quarter, Cameron appeared to control a mark while outside the field of play before kicking his fifth goal, however the league sent through a video of a different angle that “points to Cameron taking the ball on the line and hence controlling the ball on the line.”
The AFL backed that the umpire was in the best position to make the call and emphasised that out of bounds should only be called when there’s a “clear gap” as well as stressing the difficulty of decisions around the curved boundary line.
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The second incident, which the AFL confirmed was an umpiring error, saw Cameron early in the fourth quarter receive a handball from outside the boundary line before snapping his sixth goal and keep Geelong in the game.
Both calls got the footy world talking, with Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd saying on 3AW it “would’ve been a robbery” if the Cats had won, suggesting the blowback would’ve been fierce.
“I’m just glad Collingwood won that game of football, it would’ve been robbery and the AFL would’ve been under the pump,” the three-time Coleman medallist said.
“I just hope tomorrow morning (the AFL) come out and say: ‘We got these two decisions wrong,’ and discuss what went wrong, because too often they don’t.”
On the third-quarter decision, Fox Footy’s Jason Dunstall said: “This one is about a metre over the boundary line. I don’t know how the boundary umpire misses that.”
Meanwhile Magpies defender Brayden Maynard was seen appealing for an out of bounds on the full free kick, but it was to no avail. And when Maynard and teammate Nathan Murphy saw the replay of the incident on the big screen, they weren’t happy.
Fans were surprised Maynard wasn’t pinged for umpire dissent, considering players have been penalised for pointing out the replay on the big screen after a decision has been made.
“Well at least we know dissent doesn’t exist anymore,” Channel 7’s Matthew Richardson said.
Despite being on the wrong side for a left-footer, Cameron calmly took his set-shot and perfectly nailed a checkside kick for his fifth major of the night, breaking a run of seven straight Collingwood goals.
Collingwood coach Craig McRae was circumspect about the calls when asked about them post-game.
“I did see it on the big screen,” he told reporters. “I don’t think I need to make comment, the crowd were going alright weren’t they? What can we do about it, really?
“I actually think it might be worth asking the AFL. They can all see it on the screen. Do they have the ability to look at the replay and say ‘no, that’s definitely out of bounds’? I’m not sure if they do, only for goals.
“It is what it is. Yeah, we make mistakes – I made plenty in the last few weeks – and we grow.”