Essendon’s Adam Saad was stretchered off the field after a brutal late bump from Nathan Brown.
The St Kilda player certainly didn’t miss the Essendon speedster as he lined him up and caught him completely off guard, sending him to the turf.
“That’s late, that’s real late,” said the commentators.
Saad was absolutely rocked by the hit, and the umpires had to stop the match so he could receive medical assistance.
The late-bump had fans and viewers outraged, and the hotly debated send off rule became another yet another talking point.
Brown was late but it appears unclear if contact was actually high, don't think it should be a red card if they existed as open to interpretation #AFLDonsSaints
— Michael G. 🔴⚪🔵 (@mickeyg4) August 10, 2018
Absolutely disgusting by Brown. Saad completely unaware of any oncoming contact, and rightfully so. Absolute grub! If Francis cops a fine this is talking weeks! The case of the red card adds another file to its case. #AFLDonsSaints #AFLBombersSaints
— Daniel Mason (@dmase94) August 10, 2018
— Guy Houston (@GuyHooter) August 10, 2018
#AFLDonsSaints what a terrible play. Saad's terrific season no doubt cut short by a stupid late hit
— – (@simo19) August 10, 2018
Brown was placed on report immediately, and will be in some hot water with the AFL tribunal.
Saad’s match-ending injury added to a hefty list for the Bombers, as Brendon Goddard also suffered a knee injury in the first few minutes – Cale Hooker (knee) and Orazio Fantasia (hamstring) were also hurt in the third term.
Kyle Langford was in agony when he left the field in the second term with a shoulder injury, but the Essendon onballer was able to play out the match.
The Bombers led by 51 points early in the last term, giving them plenty of breathing room.
Essendon mathematically remain a finals chance, but they must beat top side Richmond and then face Port Adelaide away.
They also need other results to go their way.
The Saints led by a point late in the second term after Nathan Freeman kicked his first AFL goal.
But once again they were unable to respond when the opposition counter-attacked.
Essendon kicked the the last three goals of the half – two of them to Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti – and the opening two goals of the second half to kill off the match.
McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked five goals in a best-afield performance.
St Kilda have made it clear they will be busy in the trade period, confirming they are interested in Sydney star Dan Hannebery.
Friday night showed they badly need players of Hannebery’s experience and talent.
There were a few spotfires in the match, especially after Brown knocked out Saad, but the Bombers were too good.
Hooker will probably come under video review for a swinging arm on Daniel McKenzie in the third quarter.
In a television interview at halftime, Goddard was confident his right knee injury is not serious.
He needed a left knee reconstruction in 2007.
“Obviously, I have a bit of bone bruising, but we’re reasonably confident,” Goddard told the Seven Network.
Bombers captain Dyson Heppell returned to form after a quiet game last week and Seb Ross was best for the Saints in his 100th game.
St Kilda’s Ben Paton kicked the last goal of the match in his AFL debut.