'Shame on you': Uproar over 'disgusting' scenes in AFL grudge match

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Shaun Burgoyne, pictured here shaking hands with Isaac Smith after Geelong's win over Hawthorn.
Shaun Burgoyne shakes hands with Isaac Smith after Geelong's win over Hawthorn. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Geelong premiership hero Paul Chapman has blasted Hawthorn fans for their treatment of Isaac Smith at the MCG on Monday.

In another close finish between fierce rivals Geelong and Hawthorn, the Cats hung on by five points after the Hawks charged home from four goals down at three-quarter time.

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Smith, a three-time premiership player with Hawthorn, took centre stage before and during the clash due to his off-season switch to Geelong.

The veteran speedster was booed every time he went near the ball, with Geelong supporters attempting to drown out the Hawthorn section by cheering for Smith.

Three-time premiership player Chapman was among those to condemn the booing of Smith.

“Hawthorn supporters - shame on you," he tweeted.

"A 3 time premiership player goes to another club and you boo him.

“Thank you Geelong supporters for being more understanding. Love you guys - respect.”

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And Chapman wasn't alone, with others describing the ugly scenes as "disgusting" and "embarrassing".

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Issac Smith nearly didn't play grudge match

After the game, Geelong coach Chris Scott revealed Smith was ill and almost missed the match against his former teammates.

Scott said Smith, who played 210 games for Hawthorn, stood up well during a tense situation.

"I don't normally divulge these things, and I certainly don't want anyone to feel sorry for (Smith), but he only just made it to the line," Scott said.

"He was ill in the last couple of days and that kind of added to the pressure a little bit for him.

"He couldn't come to training yesterday, he was still pretty crook and I had to stop asking (if he would play).

Isaac Smith and Luke Breust, pictured here after Geelong's win over Hawthorn.
Isaac Smith and Luke Breust chat after Geelong's win over Hawthorn. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Clearly he was affected but I thought he was good for us.

"He's a confident sort of guy and I thought our players really supported him.

"But it's naive to say don't worry about. It's like saying don't think about an apple, you just think about an apple - you need to address it.

"We had a few other issues as well, but we didn't treat it like another game, we treated it like Easter Monday - a big occasion.

"We feel privilege to play in it and this may not happen for the rest of our professional careers so we've got to make the most of them when they come."

with AAP

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