Fans and commentators have condemned Tom Lynch over his ‘cheap shot’ on Sam Collins on Monday night.
Lynch claims he hit Collins with an “open hand to the chest” in an incident that could land the Richmond premiership star in hot water with the AFL’s match review officer.
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It occurred during the final quarter of the Tigers’ 21-point victory over the Gold Coast at the Gabba and was later described by former St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt as a “cheap shot”.
Collins was left momentarily keeled over as Lynch ran off on a lead and took an easy mark, before kicking a goal to give Richmond a crucial 13-point advantage late in the match.
“It was just an open hand and pushed off,” Lynch told ABC Grandstand after the match.
“That was it ... he (Collins) was a bit angry about that but it was just an open hand to the chest, which as key forwards is what you want to do.”
Broadcast vision from behind Lynch and Collins showed a swinging right arm from the Tigers’ spearhead, but did not offer a clear view on the contact.
Match review officer Michael Christian will have access to multiple camera angles when he assesses the incident on Tuesday.
A furious Collins remonstrated with Lynch and was caught on camera punching a padded concrete pillar out of frustration in the Suns’ change room after the match.
Fans and commentators were also less than impressed with Lynch, with many labelling his actions “weak” and “ordinary.”
“Anyone can punch someone in the guts. It’s not brave,” Garry Lyon said in commentary.
“You talk about being on the edge, that’s not being on the edge.”
Leader News reporter James Mottershead wrote on Twitter: “Tom Lynch not making a great name for himself of late. Too many cheap shots. Weak and embarrassing.”
Rohan Connolly tweeted: “Ordinary stuff Tom Lynch. Game doesn’t (need) cheap shots, and you don’t need cheap shots to perform well.
“There’s a difference between ‘playing on the edge’ and belting a guy in the guts well off the ball. Anyone can do that. Cut it out.”
Tom Lynch not making a great name for himself of late. Too many cheap shots. Weak and embarrassing. #AFLTigersSuns— James Mottershead (@mottersjames) August 17, 2020
Ordinary stuff Tom Lynch. Game doesn't cheap shots, and you don't need cheap shots to perform well. There's a difference between "playing on the edge" and belting a guy in the guts well off the ball. Anyone can do that. Cut it out. #AFLTigersSuns— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) August 17, 2020
Tom Lynch cheap shots is a disgrace and disrespectful 😠 #AFLTigersSuns— ⚫️⚪️ JAKE ⚫️⚪️ (@IncrediblyBozza) August 17, 2020
Time the AFL take a stand and stop these cheap shots off the ball. Tom Lynch is one of the biggest culprits! Every week he seems to get away with it. If he wore any other jumper he would have had plenty of weeks off #AFL https://t.co/f5YbNKtMxo— Kate Symes (@symes23) August 17, 2020
Cannot stand Richmond and Tom Lynch. Hope he gets a week for that cheap shot too such a low act... #AFLTigersSuns— Fraser (@FraseSmith7) August 17, 2020
Tom Lynch walking a fine line
Earlier this month, Lynch was fined for misconduct after shoving Brisbane defender Alex Witherden’s head into the ground, drawing plenty of criticism.
Richmond teammate Jack Riewoldt said Lynch's aggressive approach to the game was “by design”.
“I feel like he probably plays his best footy when he's on the edge. He's pretty scary actually,” he told Fox Footy.
“We think there's a level for Lynchy to do that.
“We know that he plays his best footy when he's aggressive in the contest and sometimes there's got to be a little bit of this to get him up and going.
“I suppose it's just understanding what makes you a player and I felt like he had a really big impact in that back half of the game.”
Richmond went on to beat the Suns 8.5 (53) to 4.8 (32) and move within touching distance of the top four.
But Lynch faces a wait to find out if he is free to play in Saturday night's ‘Dreamtime’ meeting with Essendon in Darwin.