'That's rubbish': AFL world left raging over 'embarrassing' farce

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Dan McKenzie, pictured here becoming the latest victim of the AFL's new umpire dissent rule.
Dan McKenzie became the latest victim of the AFL's new umpire dissent rule. Image: Fox Footy

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.”

Dan McKenzie, pictured here after being pinged for umpire dissent.
Dan McKenzie was gobsmacked after being pinged for umpire dissent. Image: Fox Footy

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.”

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.

with AAP

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