AFL world fumes over Richmond player 'classless' act: 'Can't do that'

Shai Bolton, pictured here taunting Sam Docherty as he ran into an open goal.
Shai Bolton taunted Sam Docherty as he ran into an open goal. Image: Channel 7

Shai Bolton has come under fire from Richmond coach Damien Hardwick, as well as fans and commentators, after a classless moment of showboating against Carlton on Thursday night.

Bolton turned and taunted opponent Sam Docherty before kicking an important goal in Richmond's narrow win at the MCG.

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Bolton caused controversy early in the final quarter when he held the ball in front of the chasing Blues defender and stuck his tongue out while running into an open goal.

It was the first major of the final term in a fiery contest, but Bolton's premature celebration almost came back to bite him as the Tigers rode a late challenge and hung on to win by 15 points.

Speaking after the game, Hardwick wasn't impressed.

"It's not us, it's not what we're about and he'll be regretful, no question," Hardwick said.

"He'll be accountable and responsible for it. It's certainly not part of who he is and part of what we are.

"We're disappointed but we'll work our way through it and support him and he'll learn some great lessons from it.

"It's not a great look."

The incident was seemingly sparked by an exchange between Bolton and Docherty during a three-quarter time melee, which flared up when Patrick Cripps took exception to a push from Dion Prestia that caused the Blues' skipper to hit his head on teammate Sam Walsh's leg.

Richmond and Carlton players, pictured here scuffling at three-quarter time at the MCG.
Richmond and Carlton players scuffle at three-quarter time at the MCG. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The majority of players from both sides rushed to remonstrate with each other as tensions boiled over between the rival clubs.

Hardwick said Bolton's actions were likely borne out of frustration after his previous confrontation with Docherty.

"Yeah, probably, but the reality is that's what footy is all about," Hardwick said.

"One of the things we always want to do is honour our competition and that (action) does go against that."

Carlton coach Michael Voss played a straight bat when quizzed on Bolton's taunting of Docherty.

"I wouldn't even dare dream to coach a player from another team," Voss said.

"That's for Dimma (Hardwick) to deal with and I'll deal with my own players.

"I'm pretty firm on that. If he feels that (action is) adequate, well, that's fine, but I won't be losing any sleep over it."

AFL world fumes over 'classless' Shai Bolton act

Richmond teammate Nathan Broad said he'd spoken to Bolton about the incident.

“I’ve already had a chat to Shai. It’s not a great look. I think he went up and apologised after," he told SEN.

Richmond captain Toby Nankervis also wasn't impressed, telling ABC: “(Shai’s) a great player and he plays with a lot of flair but I was a bit worried, there was still 15 odd minutes to go, so I wouldn’t be doing that, and I don’t think Shai would have done that if he had his time again.

“We want to be a really humble football club that plays footy in the right way and I love the way Shai plays the game, and maybe that overstepped the mark a little bit.”

Fans and commentators were quick to condemn Bolton.

with AAP

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