'It's clear': AFL fans fuming as umpiring 'howler' sours nail-biter

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Geelong coach Chris Scott felt Jeremy Cameron should have been paid a mark in the forward pocket during the final minute of the Cats' two-point loss to Sydney. Pictures: Getty Images
Geelong coach Chris Scott felt Jeremy Cameron should have been paid a mark in the forward pocket during the final minute of the Cats' two-point loss to Sydney. Pictures: Getty Images

Geelong fans were left frustrated after Saturday night's two-point loss to Sydney after two controversial missed whistles in the final minute of the game.

The Swans managed to claw their way back from 29 points down to claim a thrilling 14.6.90 to 12.16.88 victory, but Geelong fans are up in arms about two missed calls they believe should have given them a chance to win.

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In a chaotic final minute, Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron took a mark in the forward pocket, only for the umpire to call 'play on'.

Cameron didn't hear the call to play on and took the ball out of bounds with six seconds left to play.

At the ensuing boundary throw-in Sydney's James Rowbottom was quickly wrapped up by Geelong captain Joel Selwood, with the Cats quickly appealing for holding the ball.

But with mere seconds before the siren went off, the umpire didn't blow the whistle and the game was over.

Cats players were visibly frustrated by the consecutive non-calls as the siren sounded.

Replays showed umpires had called the kick to Cameron as 'not 15' - but the Cats star hadn't heard the call amid the noise at the SCG.

Geelong coach Chris Scott was relatively circumspect about the umpiring after the game.

“I’ve looked at the vision. It’s clear it did (go 15m),” Scott said.

“But it’s a different perspective for the umpire, he can’t go back and replay the vision. They’re tough calls.

“If Cameron had’ve had that shot, he’s the best person to have the left footer from that spot. He rarely misses from there."

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Social media lit up in response to the final seconds of the clash, with many suggesting Geelong had been hard done by.

Channel 7 commentator Luke Darcy said Selwood had done enough to earn the free kick for his tackle on Rowbottom.

“Joel Selwood has got some claims to holding the ball there,” he said after the final siren sounded.

Fellow former AFL players turned commentators Brad Johnson and Jordan also suggested on Fox Footy program Saturday Stretch that Cameron ought to have been paid his mark in the pocket.

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Swans coach John Longmire was reluctant to comment.

"I'm not saying anything about umpires, I know that," Longmire told reporters.

Scott, asked whether he would ask the AFL to explain the umpire's verdict, noted "it's clear".

The 2011 premiership coach proceeded to query whether it made sense for only some calls to be given such in-depth analysis and explanation by the league.

Geelong were controversially denied two chances to win their match against Sydney in the final minute by seperate umpiring decisions. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Geelong were controversially denied two chances to win their match against Sydney in the final minute by seperate umpiring decisions. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

"It's not for me to speak on behalf of the AFL and what they should do," he said.

"They have a bit of a recent history of coming out and admitting their mistakes, which is probably the right thing to do.

"It's really difficult to say on one hand - and I think we all agree with this - that umpires don't determine the outcomes of games.

"And say there's a whole range of decisions across the course of the game that could be controversial, so we wouldn't focus on the last one.

"But then go and clarify the last one. That seems strange to me, in my mind if you are going to explain yourself then explain yourself over the entirety of the game, rather than building pressure on umpires."

Scott is keen for the Cats to quickly move on from the gutting loss, shifting focus to Friday night's grand-final rematch against Richmond at the MCG.

With AAP

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