The AFL's new umpire dissent rule reared its ugly head again on Friday night, leaving fans and commentators fuming.
After a number of calls sparked outrage last week, St Kilda's Dan McKenzie became the latest victim of the rule in his side's win over GWS in Canberra.
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McKenzie indicated to the umpire that the ball had hit the ground after a mark was awarded to Callan Ward.
The St Kilda player simply pointed towards the ground a number of times while looking at the umpire, but apparently that's enough for a 50m penalty.
Ward advanced upfield and kicked an easy goal, much to the displeasure of the AFL world.
“Is that dissent? How’s that dissent?" Matthew Richardson said on Channel 7.
Brian Taylor added: “He’s trying to say the ball hit the ground. Really? Is this what we want?
“I just pray that a grand final is not going to be made with a decision like that.”
Daisy Pearce then said: “To the letter of the law he’s questioning the umpire’s decision, so you can’t dispute that.
“Was it demonstrative? I don’t know. The trouble we’re going to have with this rule is that two out of the three umpires aren’t paying that but one is.
“There’s nothing demonstrative but he’s questioning the decision. But it’s always going to be up for interpretation by that one umpire as to whether they think it’s dissent.
“We will never get consistency on it because it is so much up for interpretation.”
AFL world fumes over 'rubbish' dissent rule
Former AFL player Bernie Vince tweeted: “This 'dissent' rule has to be changed. Ruining the game!!”
Sydney Swans champion Jude Bolton said: “We are setting the umpires up for failure by imposing the harshness of the interpretation of the dissent rule.
“There are already so many things they have to concentrate on. It doesn’t help the game - or assist them in the duties.”
Reporter Rohan Connolly said the McKenzie incident was “another really poor example of ‘dissent’.
“McKenzie was pointing to the ground to indicate the ball hit the ground," Connolly said.
"Wasn’t aggressive, wasn’t disputing. Think that’s the worst one yet."
Kane Cornes said on AFL Nation: “That’s rubbish. I bet they don’t pay that in the finals.
“You can’t pay goals against for that. All he was saying is ‘it hit the ground’, no swearing.”
St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt described the situation as an "absolute farce".
“After a situation where the AFL was meant to make it crystal clear for everyone, we’re a half in and it's an absolute farce,” he said on Fox Footy.
“Whether it’s right or it’s wrong, it's a farce. There’s grey everywhere already, and we’re half a game of footy in.”
— Stephen Quartermain (@Quartermain10) April 22, 2022
This has definitely gone too far now #AFLgiantssaints
— Alister Nicholson (@AlisterNicho) April 22, 2022
How is that a 50 metre penalty?! Absolute joke. How is this good for the game? #AFL
— Jedd Zetzer (@JeddZetzer) April 22, 2022
Hands up if you love watching AFL football!
*Everyone with their hands up is
penalized 50 metres*
— Scott Dooley (@scottdools) April 18, 2022
A player trying to explain something to an umpire that they might not have seen is not dissent.
Horrible call, horrible rule.
— Tommy (@TommyCarullo) April 22, 2022
McKenzie penalised for ‘dissent’ for seemingly telling the umpire the ball hit the deck.
“Is this what we want,” BT muses.
No. It isn’t. It’s a joke. #AFLGIANTSSaints
— The Ian PrenderCast (@ThePrenderCast) April 22, 2022
Dissent: is defined as a disagreement in opinion. The player here is being penalised for literally breathing and moving his body while summarising his game situation and position at the highest level. Expressing Abusive language directly at an umpire is dissent, the above is not. https://t.co/1yhIXKFErT
— Daniel Hobley (@HobleyDaniel) April 22, 2022
A third-quarter flurry helped St Kilda make it five-straight wins, heaping more pressure on embattled GWS coach Leon Cameron in the process.
The Giants brought the heat early on Friday, particularly in a four-goals-to-one second term.
However they couldn't go with the Saints when they hit their straps and booted four unanswered goals in the third quarter, eventually securing a 10.17 (77) to 8.12 (60) win.
It leaves the Giants reeling at 1-5 and long odds to play the finals as out-of-contract coach Cameron looks to save his job.
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